Raj Babbar reveals he moved to Mumbai for Namak Halaal, was dropped from film last minute
Raj Babbar says that he was supposed to play Shashi Kapoor's role in Namak Haraam, but was dropped last minute by director Prakash Mehra.
Actor Raj Babbar says he moved to Mumbai to work in Prakash Mehra's 1982 film Namak Halaal, but was dropped from the project in the eleventh hour. Right before that, he was also dropped from Ramesh Sippi's crime drama Shakti. (Also Read: Raj Babbar says ‘ghar ka raha na ghat ka’ as people assumed he became rich after joining politics)
On being offered Namak Haraam
“Prakash Mehra ne Delhi mein mera ek kaam dekh ke mujhe bulaya. Unhone mujhe do filmon ke liye sign kiya, Namak Halaal aur ek aur film, kyunki Vinod Khanna sahab filmein chood ke ja rahe the. Ye 1978 ki baat hai (Prakash Mehra called me after watching my play in Delhi. He signed me for a couple of films, including Namak Halaal because Vinod Khanna was about to quit films back then in 1978)," Raj Babbar said on the YouTube channel of Rajshri Films.
On moving to Mumbai
Raj Babbar had already been summoned to Mumbai right before that, by screenwriter duo Salim-Javed for a role in Ramesh Sippi's Shakti, later played by Anil Kapoor. But since it didn't work out then, Raj Babbar was already skeptical of trusting another filmmaker's word.
“Maine kaha mere liye bahut badi baat hai aap mujhe kaam de rahe hain, bahut badi film de rahe hain, bahut bada role de rahe hain, jo Vinod Khanna sahab karne wale the. Lekin mere pas wahan (Mumbai) koi rehne ki jagah nahi hai, na rishtedar hai, na dost hai. Agar main ye film kar raha hu toh aap mujhe wahan ek saal ke liye rehne ke liye ki jagah de diiyega (It's a big deal to be offered a big role in a big film by you, but I don't have a place to stay in Mumbai. I have neither a friend nor a relative. If I do this film, I request you to give me a place to stay for a year,” Raj Babbar recalled in the video.
On being dropped from the film
When Prakash Mehra agreed, Raj Babbar sold his scooter so that his wife, theatre personality Nadira Babbar, could sustain their household. But when Raj Babbar moved to Mumbai, he learnt that he had been dropped from the film. “Kuchh log mere sath kaam nahi karna chahte the (a few people didn't want to work with me),” he said in the video. The role was then essayed by late actor Shashi Kapoor.
Is Amitabh Bachchan the reason?
A user commented on the YouTube video, “Amitabh and he had some rivalry those days.” Another commented, “Bahut log kaam nahi karna chaate thee.. Bahut log nahi sirf ek aadmi Amitabh Bachan jo Raj Barbar ki talent se darta thaa.. Aur Amitabh ne bahut try kiya Raj Babar ko industry se nikalne ke liye.. But BR Chopra ne Raj Babar ko chance diya aur phir koi nahi nikaal paaya Raj Babar ko.” (Not a few people, only Amitabh Bachchan didn't want to work with Raj Babbar. He was intimidated by his talent. He tried really hard to kick Raj Babbar out of the industry. But BR Chopra gave Raj Babbar a chance)."