When Rajesh Khanna said he 'always envied' Amitabh Bachchan after Deewar: 'I smiled each time he slipped'

Published on Jul 17, 2022 03:04 PM IST

Rajesh Khanna had revealed how he 'envied' Amitabh Bachchan after the latter featured in Deewar. He also spoke about why he smiled each time Amitabh slipped.

Rajesh Khanna had revealed how he 'envied' Amitabh Bachchan after the latter featured in Deewar.
Rajesh Khanna had revealed how he 'envied' Amitabh Bachchan after the latter featured in Deewar.

Veteran actor Rajesh Khanna had once spoken about how he 'always envied' actor Amitabh Bachchan after Deewar. In an old interview, Rajesh had revealed that each time Amitabh Bachchan slipped, he had smiled as 'he made the same mistakes that I once made'. Rajesh was asked, in the interview, if there was a film for which one of them was signed but the other actor featured in it. When Rajesh replied with Deewar, Amitabh asked 'really'. (Also Read | Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna's Anand gets a remake)

Deewaar (1975) is written by Salim–Javed (Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar) and directed by Yash Chopra. The film stars Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, Nirupa Roy and Parveen Babi. Deewaar was both commercially as well as critically successful.

As quoted by Bollywood Presents, Rajesh said, "Salim-Javed and I had differences. They refused to give the script to Yash Chopra because they wanted only (Amitabh) Bachchan. So, although Yashji wanted me for Deewar, he had no choice. And, I guess overall, he must have felt that maybe Amitabh fitted the bill better. Later, I saw just two reels of Deetvar and honestly, I said, `Wah kya baat hail (Wow)’ Honest to God. Talent was always there whether I worked with him in Anand or Namak Haram – I mean handi mein se agar chawal ka ek daana nikalo to pata lag jaata hai ki kya hai (if you take out a grain of rice from the pot you know if it's done)– but talent needs the right break. After Deewar I always envied him. Only thing is, I smiled each time he slipped because he made the same mistakes that I once made."

Reacting to him Amitabh said, "Well, I just can’t sit here taking all these compliments from you, because it’s a little embarrassing." Rajesh said that 'it’s not embarrassing, it’s the truth' which he felt from the bottom of his heart.

In their career, Amitabh and Rajesh featured together in two films. They were part of Anand (1971) directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Apart from them, the film also featured Sumita Sanyal, Ramesh Deo and Seema Deo. The film won several awards, including the Filmfare Award for Best Film in 1972.

Amitabh and Rajesh next starred in Namak Haraam (1973), also directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. The film also features Rekha, Asrani, Raza Murad, AK Hangal, Simi Garewal and Om Shivpuri. The duo had guest appearances as themselves in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Guddi (1971). The film starred Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan and Utpal Dutt.

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