For Tusshar Kapoor, Ooh La La, the chartbuster from The Dirty Picture, brings back memories of Oi Amma, Oi Amma from his father Jeetendra’s blockbuster, Mawali (1983). "I remember watching the film in the theatre," says the actor, who as a child, would fly down to Chennai every weekend.
Back in the 1980s, Jeetendra was perennially filming his Madras-style family dramas down South. Since he couldn’t fly home to Mumbai to spend time with his family, wife Shobhaa would visit him every weekend with daughter Ekta and son Tusshar.
"She would pick us up from school on Friday, we would miss half a day because we had to catch the early evening flight. I hated these flying trips as I wanted to be home in Mumbai with my friends, but my mother was adamant that we had to be with dad. We’d be back by Sunday evening and I would immediately rush across to a friend’s house to copy the notes I’d missed on Friday," recalls Tusshar.
Today, he acknowledges that all those trips to Chennai and watching the videos of films like Mawali, Tohfa (1984) and Himmatwala (1983) came in handy when shooting The Dirty Picture. "When playing Ramakanth, I didn’t need to do any research," he smiles. "But while dad played the larger-than-life hero, my character is more real and constantly springing surprises, which includes breaking into a dirty dance in his bedroom."
Jog his memory for anecdotes from the shoots of these Jeetendra-Sridevi and Jeetendra-Jaya Prada jubilee hits and he admits that he rarely went on the sets. But occasionally, he would go for dubbing sessions and was once taken aback when the screen filled up with a close-up of his dad giving a buxom actor in a swimming costume a dressing down for having stolen Arun Govil’s flute in Himmatwala.
"I was used to seeing him romancing Rekha and Hemaji (Hema Malini) and was horrified to see him with this unknown lady. ‘Who is she? Why are you working with her?’ I wailed," he recalls, smiling, "She was Sridevi, and today, she is one of my all-time favourite actors."