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  • Prem Chopra was hesitant to play one-scene part in Bobby; Raj Kapoor joked after it became a hit: ‘You hijacked the film’ | Bollywood News

Prem Chopra was hesitant to play one-scene part in Bobby; Raj Kapoor joked after it became a hit: ‘You hijacked the film’ | Bollywood News

Veteran actor Prem Chopra became the go-to guy for villainous characters in the 1970s. So, when the legendary Raj Kapoor approached him to make a special appearance in Rishi Kapoor’s launch vehicle, Bobby, Chopra was hesitant. He was worried about doing a special appearance in a film at the peak of his career, and thought other producers would also start offering him only special appearances in their films. But Raj Kapoor was adamant that Chopra should play the part in his film.

During a recent appearance on the Timeout With Ankit podcast, Chopra revealed that he was initially excited when Kapoor offered him a role in Bobby, “Who wouldn’t want to work with Raj Kapoor?” he said. But, the twist in the tale came when Kapoor told Chopra that his role would be short. The actor expressed his hesitance to Kapoor. “At that time, I was doing equal roles with Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Jeetendra and Dharmendra. I told him, ‘Raj ji, if I will do a special appearance in your film, then the other producers who have been giving me work regularly might say, ‘You have done a special appearance in Raj Kapoor’s film, now do the same for us’,” the actor shared. But Kapoor didn’t take no for an answer, and told him, “Tujhe karna hai toh karna hi hai (I don’t care, you will have to do it).”

Chopra was left with no option but to agree. Before the film’s shoot began, he kept asking the filmmaker for the script or a narration. But he always got the same answer, “Batayenge batayenge (Will tell you).” Later, when he landed at the film’s set in Pune, he was told that his only line in the film would be, “Prem naam hai mera… Prem Chopra.”

The actor was confused about the line, and he expressed his apprehension to actor Prem Nath. Chopra had revealed in an earlier interview with, “During the shoot, I met Prem Nath and told him that I was unhappy with the role. His advice was to do it and believe in Raj Kapoor. He was sure that the film would be a big hit. With his encouragement, I did it to the best of my ability and the dialogue clicked.”

After Bobby released, people came out of the cinema halls in awe of the film’s lead couple Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia. But the line on everybody’s lips was, “Prem naam hai mera…Prem Chopra.” Raj Kapoor jokingly told Chopra, “You hijacked the entire film with only one dialogue.”

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On the podcast, Chopra also praised Raj Kapoor calling him a “genius,” and also mentioned his drinking habit. “As the sun went down, he would start drinking. But even when he was drunk, he used to keep thinking about the film that he was shooting. People with whom he had issues, he would call them after drinking,” shared Chopra. He also revealed that Kapoor’s house and studio were mortgaged after Mera Naam Joker flopped. In his opinion, the film was way ahead of his time, a fact proven by its lasting popularity.

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