Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor has created a buzz with his recently released autobiography titled 'Khullam Khulla'. He has unravelled a lot of aspects about his life in the book both personal and professional.
One of such aspect was his rivalry with megastar Amitabh Bachchan, with whom Kapoor has shared has given hits like 'Kabhi Kabhie', 'Naseeb', 'Amar Akbar Anthony' and 'Coolie'.
Though Rishi and Amitabh's on screen chemistry was always appreciated, not many are aware of the fact that there was some sense of animosity between the two veteran actors during their reign on box office.
In his autobiography, Rishi has shed light on his terms with the Big B.
Here are the excerpts of Rishi Kapoor's autobiography:
Kapoor wrote, "I must admit that in those days there was an unspoken undercurrent of tension between Amitabh Bachchan and me. We never sat down to sort it out and luckily the strain evaporated on its own. It was only after we did Amar Akbar Anthony that the two of us got friendly with each other.
"…I must confess there is still a lingering issue I have with Amitabh Bachchan. A big disadvantage of working in an all-star movie in those days was that everybody only wanted to make action films, which automatically meant that the star who could carry off action with the most flair would get the meatiest part. That’s how, with the exception of Kabhi Kabhie, which was a romantic film, none of the multi-starrers I featured in had an author-backed role for me. Directors and writers unfailingly reserved their strongest, pivotal roles for Amitabh Bachchan. And it wasn’t just me. Shashi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha, Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna faced it too."
Rishi Kapoor also mentioned that Bachchan should have been more forthcoming in crediting the role his co-stars played in his career.
"Amitabh is undeniably a superb actor, immensely talented and, at the time, the number one star who ruled the box-office. He was an action hero, the angry young man. So roles were written for him. Although we may have been smaller stars, we were not lesser actors. Yet, the rest of us had to constantly measure up to him. We had to work hard, really exert ourselves to match up. In my time, the musical/romantic hero had no place. Amitabh was an action hero in an era of action films. As such, writers gave him the lion’s share and he had the author- backed roles in almost all his films. This gave him an advantage over the rest of us who had to make our presence felt with whatever we got. But this is something that Amitabh has never ever admitted to, in any interview or book. He has never given due credit to the actors who have worked with him. He has always credited his writers and directors, Salim–Javed, Manmohan Desai, Prakash Mehra, Yash Chopra and Ramesh Sippy. But it is also true that his co-stars had an undeniable role in his success.
"Unlike with Jeetendra, Amitabh and I didn’t start off on the best of terms. Initially we had a rather uncomfortable, blow hot, blow cold relationship. I was immature and defiant back in the 1970s. He was ten years older than me but like an idiot I used to call him Amitabh, never Amit-ji. Thankfully, I was able to overcome my differences and replace them with a warm camaraderie, which later turned into a family relationship (his daughter Shweta is married to my nephew Nikhil, Ritu’s son)."
We wonder what Amitabh Bachchan has to say in this regard.