Friday Flashback: A Fight That Could Have Ended The Jackie Shroff-Anil Kapoor Jodi

Updated on Apr 02, 2016 06:20 PM IST  |  18.5M
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Since the inception of Hindi cinema, audiences have always been fascinated upon a particular jodi (pair) of a hero and heroine. One can instantly remember the iconic jodi’s of Ashok Kumar-Devika Rani, Raj Kapoor-Nargis, Dilip Kumar-Vyjayanthimala, Rajesh Khanna-Sharmila Tagore, Amitabh Bachchan-Rekha, Rishi Kapoor-Neetu Singh, Anil Kapoor-Madhuri Dixit, Shahrukh Khan-Kajol and so on. But then there were some jodis’ of two heroes, who also shared a great chemistry.  Fans loved the bromance between two of their favourite heroes. Although there were glimpses of two hero jodis in the early stage of Hindi cinema, it began in the Amitabh Bachchan era where his bonding with Dharmendra, Shashi Kapoor, Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor and others were loved and cherished by everyone. The 90’s era had their jodis in the form of Akshay Kumar-Saif Ali Khan, Akshay Kumar-Sunil Shetty, Sanjay Dutt-Govinda and so on. But the 80s and the early 90’s were strikingly dominated by the jodi of Anil Kapoor & Jackie Shroff. Together, this all-time favourite two hero jodi gave us some great films like ‘Karma’ (1986), ‘Ram Lakhan’ (1989), ‘Parinda’ (1989) and ‘1942 A Love Story’ (1994). Whether they were brothers or friends, audiences instantly connected to the reel life bonding between these two macho heroes. But did you know this jodi would have never taken place if a serious fight between them would have not been avoided? It all began when Anil & Jackie were shooting for their first association ‘Andar Baahar’ (1984).


The 80’s era started with the launch of the star sons like Sunny Deol, Kumar Gaurav, Sanjay Dutt, Rajiv Kapoor and others. But at the same time there were few young actors like Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff, who managed to make their mark after a long struggle and working in films where they had minuscule roles. Both these actors got their big films in the form of ‘Hero’ (1983) & ‘Woh Saat Din’ (1983). But before these films got released they were signed by another young but, relatively popular director, Raj Sippy, as he had directed films like ‘Inkaar’ (1977) and ‘Satte Pe Satta’ (1982). Raj Sippy felt that audience were missing the jodi of Amitabh-Shashi or Amitabh-Vinod and that’s why he decided to create a fresh one with two promising actors. Anil and Jackie knew each other from their struggling days and that’s why they bonded well while shooting for ‘Andar Bahar’ (1984). Things were sailing smooth until a professional problem arrived over the actors name in the credits of the film.


Technically, Jackie Shroff and Anil Kapoor had equivalent roles but since Jackie had a heroine (Moon Moon Sen), his name was going to be first to appear on the screen. This enraged Anil Kapoor and he retaliated by saying that he was senior to Jackie Shroff as he had worked in a film with Sanjeev Kumar (‘Hamare Tumare’) which had released in 1979, while Jackie was seen in ‘Swami Dada’ (1982) with Dev Anand as one of the henchmen to the villain Shakti Kapoor. Anil felt that this was his opportunity to establish himself as a hero, thus he opposed the decision. Meanwhile, Jackie’s ‘Hero’ (1983) got released and was a huge hit.  Anil too had his share of hits with ‘Woh Saat Din’ (1983), but it was a dual hero film with Naseerudin Shah to share the credits, while ‘Hero’ was riding solely on Jackie’s shoulders. This worried Anil further as now he felt that if his name appears after Jackie’s name in ‘Andar Bahar’ (1984), he would be labeled as a second hero and might end up being second fiddle to other heroes as well. So, he insisted that his name should appear before Jackie’s in the credits and played his seniority card. Due to this issue a mild bitterness crept in between Anil and Jackie. The interactions and fun element had almost disappeared between them and they were just in professional terms with each other.


Things got worse as Raj Sippy requested producer-director Subhash Ghai to intervene into this matter. Subhash Ghai clearly supported Jackie Shroff by saying that Jackie should be given the first mention as he has a solo hit film ‘Hero’ (1983) and was more attractive proposition in terms of commercial elements. He also stated that by projecting Jackie as the lead hero will make it easy for Raj Sippy to sell his film. Raj Sippy came out with a solution that they could add both Jackie and Anil’s name in one frame. This time Jackie failed to agree with Raj Sippy and wanted to follow the advice of his mentor Subhash Ghai. Anil also did not agree as he felt he was the underdog of the film and stood by his seniority card. The movie was ready but due to the heroes' issues, the release dates kept changing. Sadly, it was Anil whose bad luck was riding high as his multi-starrer film ‘Laila’ (1984) tanked badly over the box office. Though, he had his saving grace in form of ‘Mashaal’ (1984), he knew it was more of a Dilip Kumar film than his. Anil realised that he has to agree to Subhash Ghai’s suggestion or of Raj Sippy, finally he chose to go with the director's verdict. 


The moment Anil agreed, Raj somehow managed to get Jackie’s approval and finally ‘Andar Bahar’ was released with a balanced solution. The press ad’s in Mumbai wrote Anil’s name first followed by Jackie, while in Delhi they wrote Jackie’s name first followed by Anil. Both the heroes were eventually satisfied but as Mr. Ghai had predicted, the distributors decided to play only on the popularity of Jackie Shroff and printed fresh banners with Jackie dominating the maximum space while Anil was downgraded into a small corner. This act by the distributors did not go well with Anil Kapoor and Raj Sippy. The movie was just about to release and Raj had added the credit titles as promised where, both the heroes’ names were to appear at the same time but in two different corners. Being annoyed by the act of the distributors, Raj edited the entire credit sequence from his movie. The movie started with the title followed by the credits of the crew members. Finally when Jackie and Anil saw the film, they realized their foolishness to fight over such a petty issue which did not even matter at the time of film’s screening. That’s when they decided to bury the hatchet and went ahead to sign more films together, which eventually marked the birth of their iconic jodi which till date is loved by everyone who has lived in that era.


Fun Facts –

Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff worked together in eleven films. ‘Andar Bahar’ (1984), ‘Yudh’ (1985), ‘Karma’ (1986), ‘Ram Lakhan’ (1989), ‘Kala Bazar’ (1989), ‘Parinda’ (1989), ‘Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja’ (1993), ‘1942 A Love Story’ (1994), ‘Trimurti’ (1995), ‘Kabhi Na Kabhi’ (1998) and ‘Lajja’ (2001). The equation between these two actors started to fade out after the release of ‘Parinda’ as Jackie stole the limelight from the perfectionist Kapoor. (It’s another interesting tale which we shall explore some other time)

‘Andar Bahar’ (1984) was inspired from a Hollywood film ’48 Hrs’ (1982), starring Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy. A Kannada movie ‘Police File’ was also based on similar theme.

Anil Kapoor had auditioned for a small role in Dev Anand’s ‘Swami Dada’ (1982), which eventually went to Jackie Shroff.

Jackie was finalized to play the role of Anil Kapoor’s friend in the film ‘Laila’ (1984). But director Sawan Kumar Tak wanted him to shave his iconic beard. Since Jackie was working with Dev Anand in ‘Swami Dada’ (1984), he feared that Dev Anand might get upset over the continuity of his film. In that dilemma he seeked Anil Kapoor’s advice. Anil instantly told him to not do this film as there is hardly any role for him and the way this movie is being shot, it seems like a disaster. Jackie followed Anil’s advice and few days later was approached by Subhash Ghai for his film ‘Hero’ (1983) where he got selected mainly over his bearded looks.

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5 years ago
Harsh and tiger are not good looking at all. Most new generation actors get roles because of their successful actor parents. Otherwise most of them too ugly to get it on their own .