If you recall the iconic couples of 70’s, you would dare not miss the camaraderie shared by Shabana Azmi and Vinod Khanna on the silver screen. Whether Amar Akbar Anthony or Shaque, there was something so believable about them. As the veteran heartthrob passed away, Shabana Azmi recalls how he came to her rescue when she was stressing about this intimate scene in Shaque.
As mentioned by HT, the actor recalled her shoot days from Shaque and said, “I remember being terrified because Aruna and Vikas (the filmmakers) who were married then and co-directing the film, demonstrated how they wanted a particularly intimate scene to be done. I was awkward and very embarrassed. Vinod, who sensed this came to my rescue.”
She added that he made her comfortable about the entire sequence, “When we started rehearsing he put his arm around me and asked the directors, “If I hold her in this position will I miss the camera? Would it be better if I hold her arm higher?” Suddenly I felt ‘oh this is such a technical thing, there is no need to be embarrassed’ and I started breathing again. I will always be thankful to him for this.” Then, Shabana recalls, Vinod Khanna was a big star and she was just paving her way through stardom.
In the same interview, she narrates how she got a role in Amar Akbar Anthony. Apparently, the film was supposed to have only Neetu and Parveen Babi for Rishi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan respectively. Vinod Khanna, however, was adamant that it’s not fair to him to not have a leading lady. And that’s how Shabana got the role.
“One day Manmohan Desai turned up at a studio I was shooting in and said in his inimitable manner, ‘I’m producing a film for the first time. It’s called Amar Akbar Anthony and I want you to be a part of it. Frankly, there’s no role for you but woh Vinod meri jaan khajayega that Amitabh and Rishi have heroines opposite them I need one too!’ I was utterly disarmed and said yes right away,” said Shabana Azmi.
The Neerja actor recalls how considerate Vinod used to be about people around him. She says though it was normal for actors to sit together, share their lunch and all that, Vinod would make sure he meets and greets his fans who would wait all day long for the shoot to catch a glimpse of him. In fact, many times he had also invited some of his fans to have lunch with him.
Shabana says it is sad how all the prominent actors like Farooq Sheikh, Om Puri and Vinod Khanna, have left the world in such a shocking way. She says, “it makes me come to terms with my own mortality.”