Legendary actor Shammi Kapoor, who passed away on August 14, looked forward to his act in Imtiaz Ali’s film, Rockstar. In his last interview at his Malabar Hill residence on August 6, the ailing actor, who would have turned 80 today, spoke about his role and his experience of working with the youngest star of the Kapoor clan.
In the film, Shammi and Ranbir Kapoor will be seen together in a ‘jugalbandi’ — Ranbir on a guitar and Shammi on a shehnai. But, there is a big difference in how actor Rajendra Kumar played the shehnai in Goonj Uthi Shehnai and Shammi Kapoor doing the same in Rockstar. Whilst the former was restrained, Shammi will appear more lively. So, was he was inspired by Bismillah Khan’s style of playing the shehnai?
“Yes. I earlier watched Bismillah Khan play the shehnai regally, like no one else did. I did adapt his style to a certain extent but also introduced my own, ” replied the actor, in a feeble yet poised voice.
The actor couldn’t stop talking about his grandson, the youngest star of the Kapoor family. “Ranbir is a natural and effortless actor. He will achieve great heights. I enjoyed every moment working with him. Knowing each other’s acting abilities well, we interacted more with our eyes than body languages,” said the actor with a twinkle in his blue eyes, which once conquered countless hearts.
The twelve-string guitar in China Town, the drums and trumpet in Teesri Manzil, the saxophone in Pagla Kahin Ka and the piano in Brahmachari — Shammi Kapoor appeared very convincing with all these musical instruments on screen. How? “Arre, at every song recording with Shankar Jaikishan, I minutely observed how his musicians performed. Jai taught me nuances of each musical instrument,” He smiled.