‘It is OK to be killed by Big B’
Veejay for six years, Gaurav Kapoor, with no connections whatsoever to the film industry, has decided to take a serious shot at film acting.
“Six years is a long time on television. I can’t say I’m bored with veejaying. But I need to move on. I’d love to change lanes. Ramu’s cinema seemed to be my best bet. And what better opportunity than to be in the greatest story ever told…re-told?”
Gaurav recalls his excitement when Ramu summoned him to play Ahmed, A.K.Hangal’s young Muslim son played by Sachin in the original Sholay..
“I wondered why Shreyas Talpade had turned it down! I told Ramuji I’d play Basanti’s horse Dhanno if he asked me to. I mean, this is Sholay, man!
I’m the only one of the cast who wasn’t born when it was released. Over the years Sholay has become a cult film. People don’t watch the film. They watch their favourite scenes over and over.”
Gaurav was selected because Ramu wanted someone who was innocent-looking yet mischievous. He points out a very interesting coincidence about his abbreviated career as a film actor.
“I died in my first two films Darna Manaa Hai and Shhhhh. In fact I nearly died in real life during Shhhhh when the car carrying me, Dino Morea and Tanisha crashed. And I died in Sholay.
When I told my mother this—you know how mothers are—she said, ‘Don’t die in this one, Beta’ But when I told her whose hands (Amitabh Bachchan) I died she said it was okay.”
“But jokes apart, I need to work on my body to be more celluloid-worthy.”
In the new version of Sholay, Gaurav actually had a full-blown confrontation scene with the Big B. “There was no confrontation between Gabbar Singh and Ahmed in Ramesh Sippy’s film. That should give you an indication on where Ramu is heading.
I shot with THE Amitabh Bachchan and he was so gracious. I’ve earlier interviewed him for his films on television. But this was different. I was nervous as hell. After our scenes he was kind enough to tell me I did fine.
Actually I can’t figure out why Shreyas Talpade decided not to do Ahmed’s role. I guess people have their own reason for doing what they do. Shreyas’ loss is my gain. Ramu and I go back to Darna Manaa Hai where I played one of the narrators.
That’s the kind of cinema I’d like to be associated with …maybe films with an ensemble cast where I get to do well- etched roles.”