Dharmendra, who is currently alongside Shabana Azmi, Jaya Bachchan, Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh in Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, feels this is the best phase for him. The veteran actor has been getting love from audiences and critics and he couldn’t be happier. He talks to The Free Press Journal exclusively. Excerpts:
How do you feel about doing a romantic role even today?
I have great feelings. I will be giving another film… ek aur deta hoon!
In the film, your romance with Shabana was very authentic even though your character faces memory loss. Your comments?
Yes, yeh film chu jati hai. It touches the hearts of every individual. I am told that tears rolled down the cheeks of many people in the theatres… I don’t know though as I haven’t been there that time. It’s an emotional film and a heart-rending saga. I have not yet watched the film. I will watch it in our studio (Sunny Super Sound).
The film has lovely songs of the golden era which gives emotional touch to the entire intriguing tale. Your thoughts?
Yes, the songs are wonderful.
You steal the show. What kind of feeling did you have while portraying your character?
I had these feelings that the romance of a youthful couple is born through my romantic saga. This romantic saga has been depicted par excellence by Karan Johar.
You are so romantic in real life and spread love amongst the junta as well. You are loved and respected by them. Do you feel lucky?
Indeed, I’m romantic at heart! We actors exist because of the love of our junta. I’m blessed that they shower their love on me even today.
Your kissing scene with Shabana is much talked about. What kind of chemistry did you guys share?
It was good. It is normal for us, you know. I have been performing for the last 60 years so it is very normal performing different relevant scenes that support the story. We only care to give our best. When I started way back in my initial days, while a love scene was canned, we would feel a little odd, but now we are habituated to doing such scenes as it is part and parcel of our profession. (Laughs) Aab lat pad gayi hai romance ki. It’s the action and reaction… Shabana was also very good. She is a fine artiste.
How was it working with all the actors?
Working with Jaya, Shabana and others was indeed a great feeling. They all had huge respect for me. It was an emotional ride all through working with them. All have given their best. Bahut maza aaya sab ke saath kam karke.
What’s your take on Ranveer and Alia’s performances?
They have performed brilliantly. I have always admired Ranveer’s performance right from his very first film. He is a very good actor. He ignites a brightness and lively atmosphere on the sets with his childlike enthusiasm. He is a ladla beta.
This is a very good phase for you as you always wanted to be in front of the camera. How does it feel?
Actually, I love acting madly. Deewangi thi mujhe acting ki. I haven't done any acting course. God has blessed me with so many qualities good and bad (smiles) - achche bure lakshan sab diye hain mujhe.
I was very naughty, chalu, witty and dramebaaz at home. (Laughs) Yes, the main blessings of God is I never left my sense of responsibilities but always been a responsible individual. It is always a good gesture to keep up to your responsibilities in tact towards your parents, sisters children and I always took all my responsibilities forward systematically. I tried not to hurt anyone. I’m lucky that everyone has extended their respect towards it. I want to spend every day with loads of love that one and all have given me always.
Rocky Aur Rani... is a family-oriented film with a modern tadka. How do you look at the intriguing tale?
It has an assimilation with all the ingredients much needed for a family film. The film is also serving it with the much needed modern tadka which will keep the audiences glued to the screen. All seems right, it can happen in a family. Now days, a handful of girls and boys can go through such kind of romantic inclination during their life time. Yeh ghar ghar ki kahani hai aisa lagta hai mujhe. Karan has given a very notable and an apt treatment to the story, thus it has touched the hearts of the audiences in totality.
Karan Johar has completed 25 years in direction and this film is like an anniversary gift as he has taken the reins of direction for this important occasion. Anything you would like to say for this successful film?
I had written... Karan jab jab aayega, Johar pey Johar dikhla kar jayega!
What would you like to add on the depiction of climax scene when you impart a heartfelt message to your (reel) son about family being united?
Yes, that song Ro Lain De adds spice and emotions to the scene. I had turned very emotional after performing this scene. I was touched by this sequence which promotes family bonding as it is very important especially in our Indian culture. We always need family support and should always stand for one another.
What is your next film?
My next project is Ikkees. It is with my favourite director Sriram Raghavan.
Rajveer, your grandson, is debuting with a romantic role in Dono. What would you like to say?
My grandson is a simple beta. He is playing a good role in his debut film. But I have not heard the story. When children grow up they take their own decisions in their life. Mein kitni sallah deta rahunga. I wouldn’t like to just shower praises on him as he is just beginning his career. We all know this is a strange line. We face ups and downs. However, it's part and parcel of our life.
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