After working with Shashi Kapoor in Ivory Merchant’s The Deceivers, Pierce Brosnan said, “Shashi Kapoor’s ability to underplay subtly is his asset.” The only Indian actor to have refused the National Award for Dharamputra, Shashi Kapoor conquered countless hearts with his toothy smile and polished performances. Dimple Kapadia addresses him as, “Hi handsome”. The classy actor, producer turns 79 today. His colleagues and directors recollect find memories of the gentleman Kapoor.
Shashi, Dharam and I, are contemporaries. We struggled a lot to achieved our goals. Shashi Kapoor and I have a rare photo together sitting on a track trolley at a studio in the 60s. When I offered him the negative character in Upkar (1967), he agreed immediately. Later I understood it would harm him as an actor. So I opted for Prem Chopra. Never did he bear any grudge against me. He understood and worked with resounding success in Roti Kapada Aur Makan (1974), Kranti (1981) and Clerk (1989). Shashi Kapoor values relations and never broods about payments.
As Shashi Kapoor lipped, Yea Mastia, In Bahar in Doosra Aadmi, he showed his inborn sense of rhythm. A truly competent and natural actor, Shashi and I worked in many memorable films like Kabhie Kabhie (1976), Trishna (1978) and Basera (1981). He is disciplined, and gives his co-stars their due dignity and never tries to show off. His romantic scenes are serene and dignified.
I directed Shashi Kapoor in two memorable films, Junoon (1978) and Kalyug (1981). As a producer he is one of the best I ever worked with. He never interfered in my work and was not reluctant to spend when necessary. As an actor, he expressed volumes with his eyes and his dialogue delivery was never staccato oriented. Shashi Kapoor is an effortless performer.
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