"Amitabh Bachchan Made The Same Mistakes I Did," When Rajesh Khanna Confessed He Was Jealous Of Big B After Salim-Javed Plotted To Throw Anand Star Out Of Yash Chopra's Deewar!
Rajesh Khanna Once Confessed How He Was Jealous Of Amitabh Bachchan. (Photo Credit – IMDb)

It was just one film in the year 1971 that sealed the fate of two superstars of this country. A film that starred two superstars and a film that marked the start of the decline of one’s stardom and the rise of the other’s stardom. The film was Anand and the stars were Rajesh Khanna & Amitabh Bachchan!

When Amitabh Bachchan was climbing the ladder of success, he signed Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand. During the making of the film, many people warned the Aradhna superstar to be very alert to the man who was about to turn into an angry young man.

Rajesh Khanna did not pay heed to anyone’s warnings, but later, Anand saw the rise and rise of Amitabh Bachchan despite playing a quiet doctor and Khanna receiving much love for his role as a dying cancer patient. Babumoshay Zindagi Badi Honi Chahiye Lambi Nahi, said his character in the film. But his stardom saw a decline over the years while there was a new superstar rising to the top.

Many years later, Khanna accepted that there came a time when he was very jealous of Amitabh and his success. In fact, he even confessed that Deewar was supposed to be his film, but fate happened to Amitabh, probably.

In an interview with Bollywood Presents, the superstar claimed how Javed Akhtar & Salim Khan conspired to not let him do Deewar. He narrated, “Salim-Javed and I had differences. They refused to give the script to Yash Chopra because they wanted only (Amitabh) Bachchan. So, although Yashji wanted me for Deewar, he had no choice. And, I guess overall, he must have felt that maybe Amitabh fitted the bill better.”

However, he was honest enough to confess that only a few reels of the action film made him realize how good an actor Amitabh is. He further narrated, “Later, I saw just two reels of Deewar, and honestly, I said, `Wah kya baat hail (Wow),’ Honest to God. Talent was always there whether I worked with him in Anand or Namak Haram – I mean handi mein se agar chawal ka ek daana nikalo to pata lag jaata hai ki kya hai (if you take out a grain of rice from the pot you know if it’s done)– but talent needs the right break.”

However, Rajesh Khanna even confessed how Amitabh Bachchan‘s body of work made him jealous. He said, “After Deewar, I always envied him. The only thing is, I smiled each time he slipped because he made the same mistakes that I once made.”

Later, Rajesh Khanna gracefully passed on the baton to Amitabh Bachchan, who went on to become the biggest superstar this country had witnessed.

For more such throwbacks, stay tuned to Koimoi.

Must Read: When Salim Khan Accused Rajesh Khanna Of Blaming Others For His Downfall & Added, “He Used To Feel That There Was Some Conspiracy Against Him”

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