I deserved a National Award, not the Jury Award for Daddy: Anupam Kher

Actor Anupam Kher gets nostalgic as the 1989 film Daddy completes 28 years on February 8. He talks about winning a National Award, working with a debutante Pooja Bhatt and shares anecdotes.

bollywood Updated: Apr 09, 2017 18:50 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
Anupam Kher,Daddy,Pooja Bhatt
The 1989 film Daddy showed an intricate and beautiful father-daughter relationship with actors Anupam Kher and Pooja Bhatt playing the lead.

It marked actor Pooja

Bhatt’s acting debut and gave actor Anupam Kher his first National award. Daddy, the 1989 Mahesh Bhatt directorial, completes 28 years today. Reminiscing memories and anecdotes as fresh in his mind after nearly three decade of its release, Kher says the film is and will certainly remain one of the ten best films of his life in terms of acting and performance.

“Honestly, I was in the middle of doing lots of things at that time, with almost 3-4 shifts in a day, running from one set to another and Bhatt saab came up with this script, which I thought was brilliant. We shot for the film in record 28 days,” he reveals.

Actor Anupam Kher portrayed the role of an alcoholic father in the 1989 film Daddy. (Keshav Singh/HT Photo)

Though Kher, then 34 years old, won a National film Award (Special Jury) for the portrayal of an alcoholic man in Daddy, he feels he deserved a lot more than that. “I thought and certainly believed that I should have got the National Award for Best Actor not the Jury Award. I remember I was in my house when I got a call in the night and I was very thrilled,” he quips.

“I being from the school of drama, I’ve always understood the importance of a National Award. So, I was looking forward to receiving it.”

Talking about how there was a rat race even then, when it came to awards, he adds, “I think it was important for me because I had not got it for Saaransh (1984) and I being from the school of drama, I’ve always understood the importance of a National Award. When one works very well and gives his life to a role, one must expect that he’ll get an award for it, so I was looking forward to receiving it or getting it.”

On what made Daddy a high point in his career, Kher says it was a combination of a lot of things. “Daddy was a very unconventional take on a father-daughter relationship. You can’t have every performance as a masterpiece. Daddy is a milestone in everyone’s life. I meet so many people who say the film made their life and improved their relationship with their father.”

Ask him how was it to act with a newcomer Pooja Bhatt and recall the first memory that he has of her coming on the set, Kher recalls, “I am very fond of Pooja and I had met her when she was 3 or 4-years-old, I knew her as Bhatt’s daughter. Though I don’t meet her very often now but back then, she was so fresh and natural. She was one of the few first actresses who were very real in real life and on screen also. There was something charming about her.”

Kher is full of praise for his director Mahesh Bhatt. “He allows you the freedom to be an actor and improvise too. Because of Bhatt saab, the director he was, you could come up with lots of things and he will gladly accept them. He trusts his actors very beautifully yet he comes out with something that the actor has not thought of.”

Daddy (1989) marked actor Pooja Bhatt’s debut in Bollywood.

Sharing some anecdotes from the set, Kher recalls, “The speech at the end and the ghazal song, Aaina Mujhse Meri Pehli Si Surat Maange was so moving that we, especially Pooja, broke down. There are some haunting visuals that stay in your mind because of the pain on the face of the characters in the film. That’s why these are called landmark films in one’s career.”

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First Published: Feb 07, 2017 19:41 IST