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Prem Chopra on why he resolved to not do English movies: Those people treated Indians like animals

ANI |
Feb 28, 2024 07:01 PM IST

Prem Chopra, who was last seen in Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Animal, explained why he refused to mouth English dialogues in his Hollywood debut, Heartland.

Acing negative roles with panache is cult classics such as Do Raaste, Prem Nagar, Upkar, and Bobby, screen legend Prem Chopra found fame in the Indian film industry and established himself as the undisputed king when it came to playing the villain. Not only did he carve a niche for himself in the Indian film industry but also courted fame overseas with some iconic negative roles. (Also Read: Prem Chopra reacts to death rumours, says ‘Rakesh Roshan called’ him to ask if he's alive)

Prem Chopra has his reason for not mouthing English dialogues in Hollywood films
Prem Chopra has his reason for not mouthing English dialogues in Hollywood films

Following in the footsteps of actors and his juniors in the industry – Naseeruddin Shah, Anupam Kher and Anil Kapoor, Prem Chopra made his Hollywood debut in 2012 with the film Heartland. However, in an exclusive interview with ANI, Chopra revealed that he had resolved never to do movies in English.

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While opening up on his debut Hollywood film Heartland while refusing to mouth English dialogues, Chopra said, "I had an offer. Somebody came to me and said they were making an English film, a Hollywood production with American actors in it. He told me that it was a tribute to Godfather (cult crime trilogy directed by iconic American auteur Francis Ford Coppola). I jumped on it thinking I was playing the Godfather. However, when I arrived at the set, I was told that it wasn't the Godfather, and Godfather was merely a character in the film. I did some American films, including Heartland, which was released all over America. I played a Sardar in the film."

Sharing the story around his refusal to do films where was he was required to deliver dialogues in English, Chopra said, "The film was Punjabi-English. Mostly, it was English. However, I refused to deliver dialogues in English. There is a good story around it. My son-in-law is in America. He sent an English girl over to me to seek my approval for their marriage on his behalf. I kept looking at that girl, thinking to myself if it was, at all, possible to let my son marry someone to who represented a community of people who are unlike some of my best friends. We all used to be in the army. I said (he could never let his son marry into a community of) people, who treated Indians like animals, were responsible for the death of one of my best friends and did not even give him a respectable funeral. I said I had made up my mind not to speak this language at all. However, I told the girl: 'considering the surroundings you grew up in and finding you to be a very simple person, I deem you fit for the marriage.' This is the back story."

Helmed by Fred Holmes, Heartland, apart from Prem Chopra, also featured Stephan M Singh, Amelia Jackson-Gray and Divya Dutta.

Chopra has worked in more than 400 films during his career and is fondly remembered for some of his iconic negative roles. His unforgettable one-liner "Prem naam hai mera... Prem Chopra" (Prem is my name...Prem Chopra) from the Rishi Kapoor starrer 'Bobby' got him overnight stardom as a villain.

In a six-decade-old career in the industry, Prem Chopra acted in several films such as Upkaar, Purab Aur Pashchim, Do Raaste, and Phool Bane Angaarey among others.

He was recently seen in the action-thriller Animal, which also starred Ranbir Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Bobby Deol and Rashmika Mandanna in lead roles.

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