When Rajiv Kapoor said he was 'brainwashed' early in his career: 'I should have crafted my own space'

  • Rajiv Kapoor in an old interview said that he should have crafted a unique space for himself, instead of allowing himself to be brainwashed early in his career.
In Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Rajiv Kapoor appeared opposite Mandakini.
In Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Rajiv Kapoor appeared opposite Mandakini.
Updated on Feb 11, 2021 12:50 PM IST
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The late Rajiv Kapoor in an old interview spoke about being 'brainwashed' at the beginning of his career, because he looked a lot like his uncle, Shammi Kapoor. Rajiv, who died of a cardiac arrest on Tuesday, could never quite attain the professional success that some other members of his illustrious family enjoyed.

He said in the old interview that people on the streets would first call him Shammi Kapoor, then Rishi Kapoor (his brother), and then Rajiv Kapoor. The actor's biggest hit remains Ram Teri Ganga Maili, which released in 1985.

He told Lehren that everyone told him to model his performance on his uncle's persona in his first film, 1983's Ek Jaan Hain Hum. He said in Hindi, "It's a curious thing, but I look a lot like my uncle. Everyone who worked on the film; including the technicians, the director, the choreographer, the music director; they tried to portray my character like Shammi uncle."

He continued, "Because they'd all worked with him before, they made me behave like him. I was a young lad then, so I went with the flow. They used to brainwash me. As I grew older, and gained more experience, I realised that I should have crafted my own space."

Rishi Kapoor and Rajiv Kapoor were the three sons of the legendary actor-filmmaker Raj Kapoor and grandsons of actor Prithviraj Kapoor. Raj Kapoor's other children include daughters Ritu Nanda and Rima Jain, and son Randhir.

Rishi Kapoor, who died in April 2020, had written about Rajiv Kapoor in his autobiography Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored. "I worry a lot about Chimpu (Rajiv's nickname) and feel sad that he has never been able to realize his true potential. He is the most talented of us and has an uncanny ear for music. He plays the piano superbly without ever learning it," Rishi had written.

Also read: 'Destiny was never on Rajiv Kapoor's side, he was lonely, but never bitter': Raza Murad

Actor Raza Murad, who was a friend of Rajiv's, had also spoken about his unfulfilled potential. He told reporters on the day of Rajiv's death, "You see, his films didn't work. PremGranth was a good film, but it didn't work. His television series didn't work. His marriage didn't work. Destiny wasn't on the side of Rajiv Kapoor. Worse actors than him have succeeded in this industry. I'll say that there was loneliness, but never bitterness."

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