It’s amazing that in all these years, Randhir and Rishi Kapoor have never starred in a film together in full-fledged roles," exclaims Sajid Khan, who is thrilled to have got the nod from the brothers for his Housefull sequel. "They must have got offers but nothing really substantial to have sparked their interest. They are playing brothers in reel life too."
The 63-year-old Randhir made a comeback to films in Sajid’s blockbuster, Housefull, last year. And shocked everyone on the sets with his professionalism. "For a 9 am shoot, he would be on the sets with make-up on at 8.30 am sharp. And while other actors would return to their vanity vans or wander away after their shot, he would be parked on the sets till pack-up was announced, telling everyone that his father had always told him, "You are a worker and when you work, you work," reminisces Sajid.
He describes the brothers as ‘director’s actors’ and while admitting that he doesn’t share the same rapport with Rishi yet, he enthuses that at least the ‘other’ Kapoor is excited about doing a comedy.
Randhir has directed Rishi in Henna (’91)that marked the Bollywood debut of Pakistani actor Zeba Bhaktiar. And had made a guest appearance in Hum Kissi Se Kum Nahin (’77) starring his younger brother. The duo had also made a fleeting appearance with their sister, Ritu, in the iconic rain song in their father’s Shree 420, Pyaar hua ikraar hua…in ’55.
Over the years, the Kapoors have collaborated on screen in different combinations. In 1951, Raj directed his father, Prithviraj Kapoor, in Awaara. The older Kapoor played a district judge whose son Raju is brought to trial in his court on charges of murder. Raj coaxed grandfather Dewan Bashwanath Kapoor to do a cameo in his only film appearance. His brother, Shashi, played the young Raju.
In ’71, Raj’s elder son, Randhir, made his directorial debut with Kal Aaj Aur Kal whose USP was that it brought together three generations of Kapoors —Prithviraj, Raj and Randhir. The latter romanced his wife Babita. Rishi and Neetu were another popular screen ‘jodi’ who recently paired up for Love Aaj Kal (2009) and Do Dooni Char (2010).
In ‘75, Dharam Karam, a film produced by Raj and directed by Randhir, reunited the father and son on screen. The two, along with Raj’s younger brother, Shammi, also made a guest appearance in a song in Manmohan Desia’s Naseeb (’81), John Johnny Janardan… starring Rishi.
Raj has co-starred with his younger son, Rishi, in Bobby (’73), and Randhir with his uncle, Shammi, in Mama Bhanje (’77). Shammi and his brother, Shashi has featured in Jab Se Tumhe Dekha Hai back (’63). Now Shammi is acting with Rishi’s son, Ranbir, in Rockstar.
Sajid points out that he is not only the president of the club, but a member too. “By that I mean that I am not just a director where these two Kapoors are concerned but a fan as well,” he asserts, adding that his favourite Randhir film is Kasme Vaade (’78) and from Rishi’s list of hits he picks up Amar Akbar Antony (’79) and Karz (’80).
Will his film have any jhalaks (glimpses) from these films? “It’s too early to comment on that but I make films for my audience and I can promise you that they won’t be disappointed.”