When Shashi Kapoor said Shabana Azmi 'wasn't particularly good looking', told Zeenat Aman she 'can't act for peanuts'

Mar 18, 2022 12:19 PM IST

Shashi Kapoor had once spoken about Shabana Azmi and Zeenat Aman. Here's what the actor had said. 

Late actor Shashi Kapoor had once told veteran actor Shabana Azmi that she wasn't 'particularly good looking' but was 'very fine actress'. In an old interview, he had revealed that he told actor Zeenat Aman that she is a good-looking woman but can't 'act for peanuts'. The actor had said that he spoke as he felt and that's why people didn't like him. On his 84th birth anniversary, we share an interview from when Shashi also spoke about himself. (Also Read | Watch Shashi Kapoor speak about beloved wife Jennifer Kendal in old interview: I told her we'll be together in next life)

Shashi Kapoor had once spoken about Shabana Azmi and Zeenat Aman.
Shashi Kapoor had once spoken about Shabana Azmi and Zeenat Aman.

Shashi Kapoor worked with Shabana Azmi and Zeenat Aman in many films. Shabana and Shashi featured in Fakira (1976), Chor Sipahee and Hira Aur Patthar (1977), Junoon and Atithee (1978), Yaadon Ki Zanjeer (1984), and Oonch Neech Beech (1989). Shashi starred with Zeenat in Roti Kapada Aur Makaan (1974), Chori Mera Kaam (1975), Deewaangee (1976), Heeralal Pannalal and Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978), Krodhi (1981), Vakil Babu (1982), and Bandhan Kuchchey Dhaagon Ka (1983) among others.

In an interview with Filmfare in 1975, when asked about 'speaking out of turn' and being reminded of what he spoke about Zeenat, Shashi had said, "Oh! sometimes I speak without thinking." He then continued, "I've told Zeenat that to her face. Yeah! I told her she's a good-looking woman, but she can't act for peanuts. So what's the big fuss about? I've told Shabana she wasn't particularly good looking but she is a very fine actress. I say what I feel that's why people don't like me, they are welcome to say it, it's all a matter of opinion."

Speaking about his role as the second lead in a few films and its quality, he had said, "What can I do if that's all I'm offered. I want to make good pictures in Hindi, English but who's got the guts to take the risks. I won't say I haven't done any good roles but certainly, there's a lot more I could have done and still can do given the chance. In fact, sometimes I really wonder if I'm anywhere near doing what I'd started as a little boy. I saw my father, my brother, and all the pioneers of Indian cinema and moved to that company. I had a different scenario in my mind. Not the commercial pap we churn out now."

Shashi Kapoor started his career as a child actor in his brother Raj Kapoor's directorial Aag (1948). He featured as an actor in Yash Chopra's Dharmputra (1961). He went to star in many films such as Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965), Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare (1966), Haseena Maan Jayegi (1968), Raja Saab (1969), Suhana Safar (1970), Deewar (1975), Kabhi Kabhie (1976), Trishna and Trishul (1978), Kali Ghata (1980), Baseraa and Maan Gaye Ustaad (1981), Shaan (1980), Namak Halaal (1982) and New Delhi Times (1985) among many others.

Shashi received four National Film Awards and two Filmfare Awards. He was also honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2011, and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, in 2014, for his contribution to Indian cinema. He was married to English actor Jennifer Kendal. Shashi died at the age of 79 due to pneumonia on December 4, 2017.

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