When Anupam Kher called Mahesh Bhatt a cheat
Mahesh Bhatt, the ace filmmaker of contemporary cinema and acknowledged as a director at par with the legendary directors like Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt and Raj Kapoor, turns 65 years today. Glamsham.Com wishes him a very happy birthday and reveals an episode from his life when an actor accused him to be a ‘cheat’. Well, which was that actor and why did he call Mahesh Bhatt a ‘cheat’?
After a series of failures likes MANZILEIN AUR BHI HAIN, VISHWASGHAAT, NAYA DAUR, LAHU KE DO RANG Mahesh Bhatt was down and out but his experimental movie ARTH gave him the confidence and he wrote another offbeat script of an old couple who lose their young son and struggle to live life with the agony. The film was SAARANSH. Rajshri Production backed Mahesh to make the movie.Being a shoe string budget film, Mahesh selected a young actor from theatre background to play the lead role of a retired school master. The excited actor, who was just 27 years old then, left his home town and came to Mumbai, hoping to make it big in Bollywood. For six months this actor prepared for the complex role roaming in the lanes of Dadar’s Shivaji Park area to study the nuance of a Marathi community that he had to portray. He consistently interacted with Mahesh Bhatt learning the character better.
However, one fine day to his dismay he got the news that shattered him completely. He learnt that Mahesh Bhatt has dropped him from the movie and offered the role to the renowned actor Sanjeev Kumar! The dejected actor decided to leave the town but not before expressing his anger to Mahesh Bhatt. Hence before catching his train to his native he landed at Mahesh Bhatt’s residence and started hurling abuses and accused him of being a cheat.
Mahesh tried to convince him that Sanjeev Kumar was a star and the Rajshri Production was hesitant to gamble on a debutant actor but the actor paid no heed. He bluntly cursed Mahesh Bhatt and alleged, ”You know that I can play the role better than Sanjeev Kumar but you do not have the daring to confess this to the production company. No problem I am going but I curse you for deceiving me.”
Saying this the actor moved out but Mahesh Bhatt was offended. That very moment he decided, come what may, he will now make the film with this debutant actor and he did it.
You have guessed it right, the actor was none other than Anupam Kher. He played the role so brilliantly that he went on to win the Best Actor Filmfare award beating three great actors of Indian cinema, who were nominated in the same category but failed to fetch the award. The three titans were Dilip Kumar in MASHAAL, Amitabh Bachchan in SHARAABI and Naseeruddin Shah in SPARSH.