'Dilip Kumar was an acting institution'; when Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan honoured his talents

  • Dilip Kumar died at the age of 98 on Wednesday. Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, and Jackie Shroff once spoke about his formidable talents. Here's what they said.
Dilip Kumar in a still from Madhumati.
Dilip Kumar in a still from Madhumati.
Published on Jul 07, 2021 09:06 AM IST
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What made Dilip Kumar an acting institution? Bollywood actors Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, and Jackie Shroff had spoken to Hindustan Times about the veteran star, who died on Wednesday at the age of 98.

‘Pioneer of realistic acting’: Anil Kapoor

He is the pioneer of what we call realistic acting. He was the first one who brought the element of realism in acting in Bollywood. Till he made an entry, the acting used to be theatrical, loud and artificial. But he made his characters look and feel real in the true sense. And that’s why everyone was mesmerised by his work. That’s what acting is all about. For a few years, he became famous as the ‘tragedy king’, but he also showed his superb comic timing in films like Kohinoor (1960) and Ram Aur Shyam (1967). Also, there’s not one genre – be it romance, comedy or drama – that he didn’t master.

Also read: Dilip Kumar's death marks the end of an era: Obituary

‘Perfect combination of an actor and a star’: Irrfan Khan

Till date, no other actor has had that kind of an impact on people’s hearts. The kind of combination he brought along – of an actor and a star – was never seen before him. It started with him, and ended with him. His career, his working style, his personal lifestyle or his choice of films, nothing sets a wrong example. He is a true legend. These days, the word ‘legend’ is used loosely, but I strongly believe that he is the only one who deserves to be called ‘the legend’.

Also read: Dilip Kumar dies at the age of 98, family announces with 'profound grief'

‘He was a complete natural’: Jackie Shroff

Dilip Saab is indeed an institution of acting. I feel his best quality is that he’s a natural. He doesn’t have to ‘act’. His nuances are exemplary. If he blinks an eyelid in a scene or simply stares, it conveys his emotion effectively. I learnt to be natural before the camera from him. We worked in Karma (1986) and I have loved many of his movies, such as Devdas (1955) and Mughal-E-Azam (1960). While shooting for Karma, I remember how he was patient with me. Whenever I meet him, I hold his hand and tell the famous dialogue from Mughal-E-Azam: ‘Anarkali, Salim tumhe marne nahin dega, aur hum tumhe jeene nahin denge.’ In the movie, it was said by Prithviraj Kapoor sir who plays Salim’s (played by Dilip Kumar) father.

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Monday, October 18, 2021