Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor was one of the finest actors produced by Bollywood; he wasn’t just the son of a superstar (Raj Kapoor) but the father of one himself (Ranbir Kapoor). However, he was in no way less than either of the Kapoor's who have graced the screen with their presence. In fact, it wouldn’t be incorrect to say that Rishi was the coolest of all ‘em all. The stories behind his career are too amusing to be ignored and that’s why Edition PK brings to you some of the best to remember the deceased in good words.
Rishi Kapoor often played Muslim characters and looked the part!
Not many Indian actors who belong to another religion have played Muslims as convincingly as Rishi Kapoor. Be it the role of Majnu in Laila Majnu (1976), Akbar in Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) Javed Ali Khan in Deedar-E-Yaar (1982) and Salim Ahmed Salim in Yeh Ishq Nahin Aasaan (1984), Rishi Kapoor always aced the Muslim role. Films such as Tawaif (1985), Naqab (1989), Hathyar (1989), and Ajooba (1991) also had him play a Muslim character convincingly. Then came mature roles as Zulfikar in Fanaa (2006), Ali Beg in Delhi-6 (2006), Rauf Lala in Agneepath (2012) and Iqbal Seth in D-Day(2013) and the audience fell in love with him, even if it meant supporting the bad guy. His last film where he played an Indian Muslim was Mulk (2018) in which his character Murad Ali Mohammed was a disgruntled Indian Muslim and looked more Muslim than the born and bred ones of India; that was the beauty of being Rishi Kapoor!
He bought his first-ever Filmfare award for Best Actor
Rishi Kapoor’s autobiography Khullam Khulla– Rishi Kapoor Uncensored is one of the finest books you will ever read. He spoke from the heart and even told the readers that the first-ever Filmfare Award he received for Best Actor was not won, but bought. He blamed his own innocence for the decision as he wasn’t aware of the mechanism of awards at that time. When he was approached to pay a certain amount of money for a guaranteed award, he paid the money believing that he was doing the right thing. After he lifted the trophy, his own uncle Shashi Kapoor and co-actor of handful films Amitabh Bachchan refused to talk to him, since they were the nominees (for Deewar) he beat, through money.
He gave the ring to Dimple Kapadia that she wore in Bobby!
There were rumors during the shooting of Bobby that Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia were a couple as they exchanged rings, when in fact it was nothing of the sort. Rishi Kapoor claimed in his book that Dimple Kapadia loved a ring that was given to him by his then-girlfriend. Dimple wore that ring during the shooting because her character Bobby was wearing it on screen. However, Superstar Rajesh Khanna who eventually married Dimple threw that very ring into the sea, without realizing that it wasn’t Dimple’s ring in the first place. Thank God Rishi found Neetu Singh otherwise her ex-girlfriend would never have forgiven her.
He was offered the role of the Heroine’s father in JPNA 2
Rishi Kapoor was the first choice actor for the role of Kubra Khan’s father in Nadeem Baig’sJawani Phir Nahi Ani 2. The producers Humayun Saeed and Shahzad Nasib, writer Vasay Chaudhry and director Nadeem Baig met with the actor at R K Studios and narrated the story to him, which he loved and agreed to be a part of the flick with only one condition – release the film in India as well. Since Indo – Pak relations haven’t been great for some time and only a handful of Pakistani films have managed a release in India, the makers couldn’t give the guarantee and the role went to Kanwaljit Singh. Had the makers managed to get a guarantee from local distributors, Rishi Kapoor might have worked in a Pakistani film, and might have visited Pakistan for the shooting!
And his love for Pakistan was known to all …
Call him anything you want, but Rishi Kapoor’s love for Pakistan was something that often got him in trouble in India. He loved Pakistani Cricketers most notably Wasim Bari and Sarfraz Nawaz, worked with the most number of Pakistani actors including Zeba Bakhtiar, Jawed Sheikh, Ali Zafar to name a few, acted in the most friendship-promoting love story Henna and wished to visit his ancestral city Peshawar once before dying. Add to that the performance of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan at his wedding, his 1990 trip back home and his constant tweets celebrating Muslim festivals such as Ramadan, Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi and the two Eids, and you had a gentleman celebrity across the border who should have lived more.