They are the greatest on-screen pair in Indian cinema and now fans may, once again, get to see Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha in a Bollywood movie. Industry talk has it that Walt Disney Productions plans to rope in the two to play husband and wife in
, a period drama starring Kajol and South star Kamal Haasan.
And this weekend, Big B himself said that he is ready to team up with Rekha; the woman with whom he had many hits in the 70s and was rumoured to have had a relationship with.
Speaking to PTI in Indore, where he was promoting his new movie Sarkar Raj, Amitabh said he would not mind working with Rekha “if a suitable role came my way”. It is a chance remark but this is news given that the Bachchans and Rekha have kept their distance over the decades because their relationship was fodder for the gossip mills for years.
The film industry reacted with excitement to the prospect of the couple working together again. Director Ravi Chopra said, “They were the ultimate romantic couple on screen. Amitji, spells new magic with every performance.
With Rekha, again, it would of course be a delight.” Balky, who directed Amitabh’s recent movie
said, “Mr Bachchan and Rekha together... could be a dream pairing for any cinema lover.”
Over the years, Amitabh has chosen dignified silence vis-à-vis his alleged romance with the flawlessly beautiful Rekha, now 54. He married Jaya Bhaduri, his co-star of blockbusters like
, in 1973 after a long courtship.
Jaya chose retirement after marriage while Amitabh went on to become India’s biggest star. He did his first film with Rekha,
, three years after his marriage to Jaya and the couple’s onscreen chemistry in
Muqaddar Ka Sikandar
turned these into hits.
It is claimed that a romantic liaison between the two was behind Rekha’s transformation into the ‘Greta Garbo’ of Bollywood. Rumours of an affair escalated in the 1980s when Yash Chopra pulled Jaya out of retirement and cast her in the love triangle
, with Amitabh and Jaya playing husband and wife and Rekha playing the ‘other woman’.
On the Simi Grewal chat show, Rekha once said that the Big B had influenced her life profoundly. On Amitabh’s birthday two years ago, Rekha wrote a magazine piece in which she said: “When fans write to me and question why we haven’t worked together after Silsila, the only rational answer I can think of is that the wait to be able to co-star with Amitji is worth it. That everything happens for the right reason at the right time.”
At events, Rekha has been seen exchanging formal pleasantries with Abhishek while maintaining an awkward distance from the Big B. Cameras pan to Amitabh’s face for even a remote show of feelings whenever Rekha performs on stage, while he sits expressionless.