Director Anubhav Sinha recently took a stroll down memory lane and shared some interesting anecdotes of his collaboration with the legendary Shammi Kapoor during a masterclass at the Ajanta Ellora International Film Festival. He delved into the behind-the-scenes story of working with Kapoor on a television pilot for the series Shikast and opened up about the actor’s initial reluctance to take on the role of a villain.
Recalling the early days of his career, Sinnha disclosed that he was granted Rs 60,000 to create Shikast. With a vision in mind, he approached Shammi Kapoor for the pivotal villainous character. Kapoor, after reading the script, expressed his astonishment and invited the director for a face-to-face meeting.
“I went over, and he said, ‘Maine aapko iss liye bulaya hai ke aapki himmat kaise hui mujhe villain ka role offer karne ki (I wanted to ask how dare you offer me the role of a villain)?’” Sinha shared.

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The director managed to convince Kapoor that he was the perfect fit for the character, leading to Kapoor’s agreement with certain conditions regarding remuneration and working hours. This collaboration marked the beginning of a great friendship between the two. The director also fondly recounted an incident where Kapoor stayed on set beyond his stipulated time.

During the masterclass, Sinha also touched upon his interaction with the iconic writer

Gulzar, who graciously allowed the use of his poetry in the show after watching the pilot. Gulzar, moved by Sinha’s struggle, didn’t seek any compensation for his poetry.
Years later, when Sinha approached Gulzar to remind him of the gesture, Gulzar replied, “Of course I do. A poet never forgets gifting a poem for free.”
Closing the session, Sinha discussed his latest film ‘Bheed,’ which faced challenges with the censor board before its limited release last year. Currently, he is working on a streaming series.

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