18 years of Taal: Subhash Ghai had no clue the guy draping Ash was Shahid Kapoor

Updated on Aug 12, 2017 06:03 PM IST

As the Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anil Kapoor and Akshaye Khanna-starrer completes 18 years on August 13, director Subhash Ghai talks to us about Shahid’s blink-and-miss role, and how despite negative reviews it became a major box office success.

Filmmaker Subhash Ghai did not know who Shahid Kapoor was when he was directing Taal (1999).(Photo: Waseem Gashroo/HT Photo)
Filmmaker Subhash Ghai did not know who Shahid Kapoor was when he was directing Taal (1999).(Photo: Waseem Gashroo/HT Photo)
Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

Ishq Vishk (2003) was not the first time Shahid Kapoor featured in a film, contrary to what most people believe. Taal (1999) was his first film, where he had a blink- and- miss appearance. As Taal completes 18 years of its release on August 13, Subhash Ghai, who made the film, shares his memories and recalls how no one knew that Shahid Kapoor, who was a backup dancer in the film, was veteran actor Pankaj Kapur’s son.


“He was a member of the Shiamak Davar dance troupe. He looked smart and I wanted a good-looking boy, who could drape Aishwarya’s face during the song sequence. So I asked for him. But I didn’t know that his name was Shahid, or that he was Pankaj’s son. Nor did I know that he was going to become such a big star in Bollywood,” says Ghai.

“But then, he did Ishq Vishk a few years later, and then he worked with us as well in 36 China town,” Ghai adds.

The 72-year-old filmmaker says that public affection proved that it was a better judge of films than critics were. “The film opened to really poor reviews, and was slammed by everybody. They said that the film will only do well because of the music. There were also comments like Subhash Ghai’s time is over, and many things like that. But then, I think the audience didn’t take it seriously, and kept going to the theatres in numbers to watch the film,” he recalls.

However, the filmmaker admits that the film had almost no story. “ I knew it was a tough project, because it had a very thin story. So I went to Rahman, and told him that this film will work because of the contribution of only two people — ’me and you’. He created music for the film, which is still loved by all and Apple Music has now put the film’s music into World Music category. That’s an incredible feeling,” he says.

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    Samarth Goyal writes on Hollywood and music, for the daily Entertainment and Lifestyle supplement, HT City.

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