When Dilip Kumar spoke about Ranbir Kapoor's 'immense potential' on his debut | Bollywood - Hindustan Times
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When Dilip Kumar spoke about Ranbir Kapoor's 'immense potential' on his debut

Dec 11, 2022 12:31 PM IST

In a 2007 interview with Hindustan Times on his 85th birthday, the veteran actor Dilip Kumar spoke about star kids like Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor who had promising futures ahead in the industry.

As the birth centenary year of Dilip Kumar begins on Sunday, a two-day film festival celebrating one of India's greatest thespians was kicked off in Mumbai by his wife, actor Saira Banu. The veteran actor died at 98 on July 7, 2021 after suffering from ill health for the past few years and often spent time in and out of hospitals. The legendary actor, who won eight Filmfare Awards for Best Actor, was looked up to by many in the industry as one of their inspirations, especially for his dedication to method acting. (Also read: Am I really 85, asks Dilip Kumar)

Dilip Kumar at an event and Ranbir Kapoor in a still from his debut film Sawaariya.
Dilip Kumar at an event and Ranbir Kapoor in a still from his debut film Sawaariya.

The veteran was also encouraging towards the next generation of actors, with stars like Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan counting Dilip Kumar as their influence to get into acting. Even as he grew older, Dilip Kumar was often visited at home by those in the film industry from actor Salman Khan to filmmaker Subhash Ghai, with whom he had collaborated on Vidhaata (1982), Karma and Saudagar (1991).

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In a 2007 interview with Hindustan Times on his 85th birthday, Dilip Kumar was asked about star kids Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor who had made their debuts with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's love story Sawaariya. He had said at the time, "I think Ranbir has immense potential. He has the best features of his father and of his mother. I also foresee an impressive career for Sonam Kapoor. She comes across as a spontaneous actress. I felt very happy seeing them in Sawaariya because of the warm relationship I have with their parents and grandparents."

Dilip Kumar had worked with Rishi Kapoor, Ranbir's father, and Anil Kapoor, Sonam's father, before he retired from films. The veteran actor also shared warm, familial relationship with both families as he worked at the same time as their grandparents, Raj Kapoor and Surinder Kapoor, respectively. The actor, who was born in Peshawar, Pakistan, made his film debut in the Bombay Talkies production Jwar Bhata (1944). Studio head Devika Rani was the one who suggested he change his name from Mohammad Yusuf Khan to Dilip Kumar. He was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award by the Indian government in 1994.

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