Prem Chopra: Whenever I appeared on screen, people knew I would create problem | bollywood | Hindustan Times
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Prem Chopra: Whenever I appeared on screen, people knew I would create problem

Veteran actor Prem Chopra says that his image preceded him whenever he appeared onscreen, so his negative character didn’t need much context setting.

bollywood Updated: Apr 18, 2017 17:59 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Actor Prem Chopra played a negative role in the 1973 film Bobby starring Dimple Kapadia and Rishi Kapoor.
Actor Prem Chopra played a negative role in the 1973 film Bobby starring Dimple Kapadia and Rishi Kapoor.(HT Photo)

Actor Prem Chopra carved a niche of his own when he played the most suave villain on screen during the 70s and 80s. Nowadays, with lead actors trying to play grey characters, Chopra feels that it’s because everyone wants to improve in totality and showcase various their talent to portray variety. The 81-year-old says, “These young, talented actors are fascinated by negative characters because antagonists are difficult to portray. Plus they can prove their versatility.”

Chopra, who played the villain in Bobby (1973), had just one dialogue in the film. He remembers, “Since I was already an established star, I didn’t need to prove my self. Whenever I came on screen, people knew that he’s here to create problem.”

We need a bunch of good writers. People, pick up scenes from Hollywood films and impose them in Hindi. So, the originality is lost. I feel dialogue writers need to be more proactive

Drawing a comparison between films made then and now, he says,“In our times, there were three major characters in a film — a hero, a heroine and a villain; and the film was woven around them. But now, when the hero is playing a villainous role, the writers need to explain why he played the bad guy.”

Ask him about the looks that villains flaunt, which is quite unlike the ‘bad guy’ image that audiences loved watching in the past, Chopra feels viewers have become open in their choices. “Earlier, there used to be no other medium of entertainment than cinema. Nowadays we have TV, video, which keep the audiences occupied. So people have started accepting heroes playing a villain, if they perform well.”

The actor agrees that iconic dialogues are a rarity now. “We need a bunch of good writers. People, pick up scenes from Hollywood films and impose them in Hindi. So, the originality is lost. I feel dialogue writers need to be more proactive,” concludes the actor.

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