Dharmendra: 'I Was All Set To Do Zanjeer When...'
Dharmendra, in a conversation, talks about letting go of films which turned out to be a big hits
Recently, the legendary Dharmendra intrigued his fans by telling them that he was offered Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand first. Dharmendra whipped up quite an uproar on social media with that revelation.
Now, during a conversation with me, Dharmedra lets out that Anand is not the only important film that the superstar-actor had to let go.
Says Dharamji, “You will be surprised to know that Prakash Mehra’s Zanjeer (which catapulted Amitabh Bachchan to fame) was my project. I was all set to do the film when I had to opt out for personal reasons.”
An aunt of Dharamji who had a run-in with Prakash Mehra told Dharamji he will work with Mehra over her dead body.
“I’ve always allowed my heart to rule my head. Why only one Zanjeer? I’d let go of a hundred Zanjeers for emotional reasons,” says Dharamji.
About Anand he recounts, “Hrishida was a very close friend. We did a number of great films together: Anupama, Satayakam, Guddi, Chupke Chupke. Satyakam was his favourite film and mine. On a flight to Bangalore, he narrated the story of Anand to me. I fell in love with it and agreed to do it. The next thing I heard was, another actor was doing it. I was so upset I called Hrishida the entire night after downing a few pegs insisting Anand was mine. Of course, Hrishida did the film with the actor he thought best for the role. No hard feelings. I miss Hrishida. He was a great filmmaker and great fun to be with.”
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