Shakti Kapoor on reuniting with Govinda: Give him 10 roles in a film and he'll ensure they're all different
Shakti Kapoor says his daughter Shraddha Kapoor and Alia Bhatt are the only current actresses who are as graceful as Madhubala and Meena Kumari.
Though Shakti Kapoor made his Bollywood debut in 1975, but it was not until 1980 when fame came knocking on his door or rather his car, to be more precise. It was an accident on Mumbai’s Linking Road near Bandra which changed the destiny of the villain-cum-comedian. “I believe in destiny and no one has a clue when they will change. I had an old car and was going somewhere and suddenly my car met with an accident with a Mercedes. I hardly used to earn then and the thought of spending money on repairing the car made me so annoyed that I got out of my car to give a good thrashing to the car owner. That car owner turned out to be Feroz Khan who gave me Qurbani, which changed the trajectory of my film career.” Shakti believes that he is blessed. Vinod Khanna had given him a two-bedroom flat to live and Sunil Dutt considered him as his second son even when he was yet to carve his own identity.
Shakti has seen the film industry up close and personal in his four-decade long career and has virtually worked with everyone from the industry, which according to him, spans over five generations. Though the actor’s current selection of films might at best be dubbed inconsequential but his pairing with Govinda for the recent film Rangeela Raja has definitely brought the spotlight on him. The hit jodi of the '90s with films like Raja Babu, Ankhen, Deewana Mastana, Sajan Chale Sasural, Shola Aur Shabnam and Jodi No 1, were a success formula unto themselves. Can the magic be recreated again? “The magic this time is more potent compared to the past. Govinda is one actor who never tires. Normally, when people achieve so much in life, they develop a complacent attitude but you can’t say the same for Govinda even after so many years. When we are together on a film set we derive energy from each other. Children will fall laughing seeing us together.”
Shakti reveals that the improvisation technique during film shoots happens to be his biggest weapon. The actor also reveals that two of the most famous dialogue in his film career, 'Samajhta nahi yaar' and 'Nandu sabka bandhu' from Raja Babu were suggested by Govinda, and were a result of improvisation. “We both keep coming up with new things while shooting. There is no wall between us that he is a hero and I am character actor. He has no complexes about anything and you will only learn from him. Give him 10 roles in a film and he will ensure that they all are different from each other. Aamir Khan himself had said once that one of the best actors we have in this country is Govinda.”
The actor rues the fact that the industry is currently devoid of stars like Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra and Raj Kapoor but at the same time, has no hesitation in comparing his own daughter and Alia Bhatt with yesteryear actresses. “Currently, I only see two faces whose faces are devoid of any cheating and innocence is ingrained on their faces, and they happen to be Alia Bhat and Shraddha Kapoor. These two kids are extremely genuine. One could witness such grace only in Meena Kumari and Madhubala in the past.” When the actor is countered if it is the father in him that is making him say such a thing, he goes on an offensive. “This is the truth and my love is there for Alia too. I am not Madhubala’s father but then too I fall in love with her whenever I see her films. The way Shraddha cried in Aashiqui (2) brought goosebumps in me. The world has become mechanical and you hardly get to see such real performances.” On Shraddha’s flop films, the actor mentions that none of them had good content.
The ghost of the sting operation by a news channel, which had caught Shakti Kapoor indulging in casting couch a few years ago, still haunts him as he seems uneasy saying anything on the ongoing #MeToo movement. He mentions that he has no clue what is wrong and what is right, and then requests to ask questions on his film. But when asked if he will give his consent to a film which features a rape scene, he gives a startling response, “I will leave that film. I don’t need such a film.”
Shakti believes that after having spent four decades in the industry, he is content with his film journey and the only regret he has is of not working with Raj Kapoor. “In a very short span, I have worked with five generation of actors and I am still doing. (Sunil) Dutt saab was the one who changed my name to Shakti, Feroz Khan made me a star, Raghvendra Rao thought of me as his own son and when he came into my life it completely changed. I stayed in a house that was owned by Vinod Khanna for five years. I have received blessing from many people in the industry. Sanjeev Kumar would often come to my house as he loved my wife’s preparation of fish curry, Nargis ji used to give me Rs 150 every month when I had no money to eat. What more can I ask for,” says a sentimental Shakti.
Finally, when asked if he will ever toy with the idea of penning his memoir, Shakti Kapoor says that he has been approached by many publishers to write his autobiography, but is reluctant to go ahead. He believes that if he were to write one, it might create problem for many.
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