Rishi Kapoor was very sensitive, emotional, but you would rarely get to see that side of him: Filmmaker Umesh Shukla
Filmmaker Umesh Shukla, who directed Rishi Kapoor in All Is Well and 102 Not Out, talks about the on-screen and off-screen persona of the late actor.Updated: Apr 30, 2020 20:07 IST
Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor’s demise has left a void in Umesh Shukla’s life. He’s lost a brother, a friend. Kapoor, 67,who was admitted to a Mumbai hospital recently, breathed his last on Thursday (April 30) after a two-year-long battle with cancer.
“We wanted to work together again and I even had a subject ready. We spoke on March 18 and decided to meet once things get better. In between, we spoke a few more times.” After a pause, he says, “This shouldn’t have happened. How can he leave us like this?”
Shukla worked with the actor in All Is Well (2015) and 102 Not Out (2018). Looking back at the time when he was thinking about working with him for the first time, he says many people warned him.
“People told me he was short-tempered, so I should reconsider my decision. But on the contrary, he was very jovial. He would try to understand the people around him well before he would say anything,” he says, before talking about Kapoor’s craft.
“He was a spontaneous actor, yet very subtle with his nuances onscreen. He would always ask the right questions. He never had to do any homework. He would wear his make-up and costume, and get straight into the character.”
As a person, Shukla says Kapoor was “emotional”, a side that was often hidden from many.
“Rishi ji was very sensitive as a person but you would only see that side of him if you knew him since a long time. He would always try to cheer everyone up around him. When I went to meet him in New York along with Abhijat Joshi and Saumya Joshi (both are into writing and direction), it seemed like we were unwell and he had come to meet us. He was as lively as always and said, ‘Chalo yaar sab theek hai, ab jaldi kaam karte hai’,” he recalls.
Shukla remembers how while dubbing 102 Not Out, Kapoor had got emotional one day. “He saw a few scenes and got very emotional and said, ‘Umesh, aaj nahi kar paunga’. He liked Amit ji’s (Amitabh Bachchan) performance in a few scenes and he would be like ‘Bachchan sab kitna achha perform karte hai’. He even sent Amit ji a bouquet to express his regards. I learnt so much from him in all these years. He was so passionate about his work,” he adds.
Kapoor, according to Shukla, was excited about “his second innings”. “He would often tell me ‘Yaar, mujhe kuch aisa role chahiye jo challenging ho… maine kabhi nahi socha tha ki main villain ka role karunga, par kiya Agneepath (2012) mein aur achha bhi lagaa’. He was so happy with the kind of offers coming his way. He would tell me ‘pehle to sweater pehenke waadiyon mein ghumta tha abhi jaake achha kaam mil raha hai, bahut kaam karna hai mujhe…’ I wish this is just a dream, this can’t be true,” he signs off.
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