EXCLUSIVE: Anil Kapoor remembers Dilip Kumar; Says latter was first choice for Raja Thakur’s role in Virasat

3 weeks ago  |  128.5K
Anil Kapoor remembers Dilip Kumar (Pic Credit: Anil Kapoor / Instagram)

On Wednesday, Dilip Kumar breathed his last at Mumbai’s PD Hinduja Hospital. “With a heavy heart and profound grief, I announce the passing away of our beloved Dilip Saab, few minutes ago. We are from God and to Him we return,” Kumar’s family friend Faisal Farooqui wrote on Twitter. In a conversation with Pinkvilla, Anil Kapoor who has worked with Dilip Kumar in Shakti, Mashaal and Karma remembered the late actor. 

“My memories of him are from childhood because he was a very dear friend of my father (Surinder Kapoor), and both of them really had a lot of love and respect for each other. My father was closely associated to Mughal-E-Azam. So as a child while sitting with my dad, he would tell us stories about the film, Dilip saab - the actor he was, the person he was, and the human being he was. My dad started out as an assistant director, but Dilip saab would treat my father with absolutely equal respect, as he would treat any of the biggest producers or directors,” says Anil, adding that his filmmaker-father and Dilip Kumar had become really close friends. 

“And they remained close friends. Whenever I met him he would inquire about dad, and speak to me about dad very fondly. I am very fortunate that I had the honour and that I could share screen space with him in not one but three films directed by three of the best directors of our country - Subhash Ghai, Yash Chopra and Ramesh Sippy,” adds Kapoor. 

Anil Kapoor recalls his first meeting with Dilip Kumar. “It was on the sets of Shakti in Ooty. I had seen him as a kid, looking at him in awe, watching his films and admiring him from afar, but as an actor it was on the sets of Shakti. Obviously I was absolutely nervous, couldn't speak my dialogues and kept on giving retakes after retakes. In fact, I always wanted him for Virasat. He was our first choice, but he passed the film. Otherwise it would have been four films with him,” says Anil, informing that Dilip Kumar was offered the role of Raja Thakur, which was later played by Amrish Puri.

Also Read | RIP Dilip Kumar: When Shah Rukh Khan admitted that whoever copies the legendary actor 'are idiots like me'