As the film industry mourned “Devsaab’s” death, they remembered ‘a live wire,’ ‘style-icon,’ and a ‘trend-setter’ who was in love with cinema till his last breath.
A career that spanned from 1946 till 2011, Dev Anand inspired everyone who worked with him with his positive energy.
“He was always enthusiastic and eager to do the next film,” said actor Hema Malini, who did films such as Johny Mera Naam with Anand. “Whenever I spoke to him he always told me to continue acting. May be that’s why I keep working.”
Speaking of his ‘enormous self belief’, biographer Sidharth Bhatia said, “He believed he could do anything and never looked back on failures. You may call it foolish optimism but that was in his DNA and cinema was his universe.”
“He could put youngsters to shame when he climbed the steps of Navketan studio,” said filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar.
Through Navketan Films Anand launched several actors for more than 40 years and always looked for a new story and a new face. “Whatever I say will be trivialising his legacy,” said Tabu who debuted in Dev Anand’s Hum Naujawan, in 1985.
Filmmakers spoke of Anand’s influence on their directing styles and philosophy. “He broke away from the traditional and made certain kind of films with a certain kind of style, which later became templates (for others),” said director Sudhir Mishra who said Chitrangada Chowdhary’s character in his Hazaraon Khwaishen Eisi had influences of the iconic Rosy played by Waheeda Rehman in Guide.
While cinema remained the “only thing he knew”, his friends in the industry spoke of his humility. “He was a perfect gentleman,” said Bhatia. “He always answered his phone and used to say if people want to talk to me why should there be a secretary.”
In an interview to PTI last year, Anand said, “I am always in a rush because time is slipping away and I am chasing it, chasing it. I have so many stories to tell but where is the time.”