The star clashes in yesteryear weren’t something that amused people; they were very much a part of the normal and actors sometimes even enjoyed them. There is no doubt that the late Rishi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan were and are still very much the topmost actors in India. But did you know Kapoor once had a problem with Bachchan during their Kabhi Kabhie days?
Well, Rishi Kapoor was known for being the most outspoken actor. He never stopped himself from speaking his heart out, be it about his personal or professional life. He once wrote a memoir Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored and reflected his life in the same unfiltered way, he spoke normally. It is in there where he spoke about resisting from working in Yash Chopra’s Kabhi Kabhie due to his wife Neetu Kapoor and also Amitabh Bachchan. Below is all you need to know about the same.
It was back in the days when Yash Chopra has just offered Rishi Kapoor Kabhi Kabhie, the now cult film. He had then said no because he felt Neetu Kapoor had a meatier role in the film. While denying he told Chopra to give him Neetu’s role and he mentioned that in his memoir too. But later, Shashi Kapoor intervened and made Rishi get on board.
But turns out Neetu Kapoor’s meatier role wasn’t the only reason. In the same chapter, Rishi Kapoor also named Amitabh Bachchan as one of the reasons. He called him a lingering issue and said, “To go back to Amitabh, I must confess here is still a lingering issue I have with Amitabh Bachchan. A big disadvantage of working in an all-star movie in those days was that everybody only wanted to make action films, which automatically meant that the star who could carry off the action with the most flair would get the meatiest part. That’s how, with the exception of Kabhi Kabhie, which was a romantic film, none of the multi-starrers I featured in had an author-backed role for me. And it wasn’t just me. Shashi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha, Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna faced it too.”
Rishi Kapoor also said that Amitabh Bachchan never gave due credits to the actors who worked with him. “Amitabh is undeniably a superb actor, immensely talented and, at the time, the number one star who ruled the box office. He was an action hero, the angry young man. So roles were written for him. Although we may have been smaller stars, we were not lesser actors. Yet, the rest of us had to constantly measure up to him. We had to work hard, really exert ourselves to match up. In my time, the musical/romantic hero had no place. Amitabh was an action hero in an era of action films.”
Rishi Kapoor added, “As such, writers gave him the lion’s share and he had the author-backed roles in almost all his films. This gave him an advantage over the rest of us who had to make our presence felt with whatever we got. But this is something that Amitabh has never ever admitted to, in any interview or book. He has never given due credit to the actors who have worked with him. He has always credited his writers and directors, Salim-Javed, Manmohan Desai, Prakash Mehra, Yash Chopra and Ramesh Sippy.”