From being a star of the golden era to being a new-age producer, veteran actor Jeetendra has mesmerised audiences for over five decades. And now that his hand impression will soon be unveiled at the Walk of the Stars in Mumbai, to honour his contribution to Indian cinema, the 71-year-old opens up about his journey, his kids and more.
What’s the biggest change in cinema that you have noticed over the years?
Firstly, I think it’s a wonderful time for cinema now. There’s no monopoly of one type of films now, and I feel so happy to see that. Earlier it used to be just one kind of story — two brothers lost and found etc and there was a clear distinction between masala films and art house films. But now the lines have blurred and there’s so much more variety that filmmakers are offering these days!
What’s your take on remakes? Your hit film Himmatwala was remade this year, and flopped badly at the box office.
You know it’s completely fine to do remakes. Haan, agar remake original film ki quality kharab kar rahi toh fir alag baat hai. As far as Himmatwala is concerned, I think both Sajid (Khan) and Ajay (Devgn) are responsible people... I think they did a brilliant job. Success of a film has got nothing to do with whether it’s a remake or an original.
Any heroine from the current generation you’d have liked to romance on screen?
(Laughs) Kiska naam loon? I think all are doing a great job. Kisi ek ka naam lunga toh baki sab bigar jayenge, and I am a father figure to them, so all of them are dear to me.
Your favourite hero now?
All of them. The best thing about them is that they are all so disciplined. Their fitness levels are an inspiration to many. Humare time pe heroes drink karke idhar udhar pade milte thay.
When do we see your daughter Ekta (Kapoor) tying the knot?
Mata Rani se bolo ki jaldi ho jaye... main toh chahta hoon ki jaldi ho jaye. I am also waiting to see her married.
Will we ever see you films again?
No no! Fifteen years back, when I left the studio, maine kasam khayi thi ki main wapas nahin aoonga. But as luck would have it, look at me, I am still in showbiz!