Cinema legend Dilip Kumar is remembered as one of the most versatile and accomplished Indian movie stars of all time. Some of his finest performances are seen in masterpieces like ‘Devdas’, ‘Gunga Jumna’, ‘Mughal-e-Azam’, ‘Ram Aur Shyam’ and many more. A true gentleman off-screen, he influenced a generation of actors after him. Remembering Dilip Kumar, Shabana Azmi spoke about her admiration for the late cinema legend, while recalling some fond memories of the icon.
Opening up about what really made Dilip Kumar one of a kind and the fact that there can be no one like him, Shabana Azmi said, “There’s only one Dilip Kumar. If people have not seen the work of Dilip Kumar, they should not say that they are fans of Hindi cinema or that they know anything about any cinema. Because of Dilip Kumar and the kind of acting he brought, the method acting which, at that time was unheard of in Hindi movies.”
“The intensity, passion – whether it was his body or his voice, he was the character. Look at his versatility, for somebody who can do a ‘Devdas’ and a ‘Mitva’, which is an ocean of sadness on his face. He doesn’t have to do anything, it’s just his face that’s speaking and doing the crazy kind of comedy that he was capable of. He has influenced a generation of actors after him. He’s an institution by himself. He was also an extremely dignified person in real life, very charming. We can’t have nobody else like Dilip Kumar.”
Further, revealing a sweet secret about the cinema legend, Shabana Azmi shared, “He was a chatora of the first order and he likes to eat pakodas and he liked to eat all kinds of rubbish food.”
Recalling a story that he told her that she found extremely ‘charming’ she said, “He told me, ‘Saira put me on a diet and she gave me some soup and some boiled chicken to eat so I ate it. At 2 in the morning, I got up feeling so sad for myself that I quickly walked out of my bedroom, went to the fridge and just ate everything that was there. Because I said I slept hungry so now I can do this’. So when he tells you these stories, you’re so much in awe of him.” Sweet much!
On the work front, Shabana Azmi was recently seen in the romantic comedy family drama ‘Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani’ in which her performance was highly lauded by the critics and audiences alike.