Prem Chopra recalls Raj Kapoor convincing him to do Bobby over drinks, says he didn't register now-iconic line
Prem Chopra recalled how he wasn't sure about appearing in Raj Kapoor's Bobby, and wasn't pleased with the character he was playing.
Veteran actor Prem Chopra recalled his hesitance in playing the villain for Raj Kapoor in the film Bobby, and how the director first relayed the iconic line, ‘Prem naam hai mera, Prem Chopra’, to him over drinks.
In an interview to commemorate his birthday, the actor said that he wasn't quite sure about playing a supporting character, and was interested in capitalising on his growing popularity by taking up lead roles. But Raj Kapoor told him, “I don't care, you have to do this.”
Asked about the origins of the famous line, Prem Chopra told indianexpress.com, “He loved to drink and one day we sat together. I kept asking him to give me the script so I can learn my dialogues; it was a Raj Kapoor film after all! All he had to say was, ‘Batayenge batayenge, fursat se’. He only told me that a young couple has eloped and I have to catch them. I had to say ‘Prem naam hai mera… Prem Chopra’.”
He continued, “When I heard that for the first time, it did not register. During the shoot, I met Prem Nath and told him that I was unhappy with the role. His advice was to do it and believe in Raj Kapoor. He was sure that the film will be a big hit. With his encouragement, I did it to the best of my ability and the dialogue clicked. Even today, wherever I go in the world, people either introduce me with that dialogue or want me to say it. It is so close to my heart that even my book is named Prem naam hai mera… Prem Chopra.”
Starring Rishi Kapoor in his first lead role as an adult actor, Bobby became a runaway hit and was particularly popular in the Soviet Union. The film also featured Dimple Kapadia.