"
They felt Aftab was better than me."
(Asian Showbiz, January 2002)

If longevity is the chief criterion for success, then Anil Kapoor, who after almost thirty years is still playing romantic leads, may be the biggest star in Bollywood.

Anil Kapoor    When asked about his reaction to people's disbelief that he is still being cast as the hero, Anil replies, "Oh, it's just the beginning, honey!... You see, things have changed from what they were a couple of decades ago. That's why things are so hunky dory for people like us, people like me. Earlier we were 20-30 years behind Hollywood cinema. Our cinema catered to illiterate and uneducated people. But now, a major chunk of our audience is educated, literate, sensible. They understand and enjoy films which are performance-oriented and sensible. They form the chunk of our market today.
     " People...are fed up of the teeny-bopper romance; they've had a surfeit of it anyway. So I would say it is a demand and supply market. Today, we are only a few years behind Hollywood cinema. Who are the top stars there? Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise -- and they're among the younger lot! Seniors like Harrison Ford and Michael Douglas are amongst the top stars of the country. The first film which made Russell Crowe, for example, a major star is one of revenge, where he plays a father." (Rediff, Mar. 2001)

  Perhaps one of the secrets of his success is that Anil has never been afraid to play roles that others feared would pigeonhole him. "My very first film (Woh Saat Din) was a departure in that I played a music composer. It was felt that the role would suit a Sanjeev Kumar. Because in those days, a music composer was middle-aged. Then, I did Eshwar, where I played a grandfather. Again, I was told I was too young to play a grandfather. But I did it. Then there was Lamhe, where I played Sridevi's father." (Rediff, Mar. 2001) And in terms of career choices, he has shunned the path to easy money and instead focused on building his portfoilo with quality work. "I've always aimed at longevity rather than making hay while the sun shines. I've never done ads, you'll notice." (Rediff, Mar. 2001)

  Still, in such a long career path, bumps are inevitable. Anil was unceremoniously ousted from Vikram Bhatt's 2001 suspense thriller Kasoor. The director opted instead for the much younger Aftab Shivdasani. "They felt Aftab was better than me," Anil flatly states (Asianshowbiz, Jan. 2002). The decision ruptured a heretofore friendly relationship.

  In a November 2000 interview, Filmfare Online asks Vikram Bhatt to explain what had happened between them. Bhatt obliquely replies, "Well, this is the result of some form of miscommunication and we are both to blame. It's unfortunate that we couldn't do the film we were supposed to, together - for whatever reason. But I am glad the issue has been sorted now. In fact, Anil and I are doing a film together and we both have decided to forget what has happened and forge a new relationship. Anil and Boney are two very sensible people. I believe in synergies and in people coming together. Bygones are bygones, a much closer relationship has been formed now between Anil and me."

  Thus it seems that Anil's three decades of experience have imparted diplomacy and wisdom along with a filmography that marks him as one of the greatest actors working in India today.

 

Anil Kapoor
born: December 24, 1959
height: 5' 11"

FILMS

1974 Shaitan
1979 Hamare Tumhare
1980 Hum Paanch
1982 Shakti
1983 Meri Jung
1983 Pallavi Anupallavi
1983 Woh Saat Din
1984 Andar Bahar
1984 Laila
1984 Love Marriage
1984 Mashaal
1984 Rachna
1985 Joshilay
1985 Mohabbat
1985 Pyar Ka Sindoor
1985 Saaheb
1985 Yudh
1986 Aap Ke Saath
1986 Chameli Ki Shaadi
1986 Insaaf Ki Awaaz
1986 Jaanbaaz
1986 Kahan Kahan Se Guzar Gaye
1986 Karma
1986 Pyar Kiya Hai Pyar Karenge
1987 Hifazat
1987 Itihaas
1987 Mr. India*
1987 Thikana
1988 Inteqam
1988 Kasam
1988 Ram Avatar
1988 Sone Pe Suhaaga
1988 Tezaab*
1988 Vijay
1989 Aag Se Khelenge
1989 Abhimanyu
1989 Eeshwar
1989 Kaala Bazaar
1989 Parinda*
1989 Rakhwala
1989 Ram Lakhan
1990 Amba
1990 Awaargi
1990 Ghar Ho To Aisa
1990 Jamai Raja
1990 Kishen Kanhaiya
1991 Aasman Se Gira
1991 Benaam Badshah
1991 Jigarwala
1991 Lamhe*
1991 Pratikar
1992 Apradhi
1992 Dharavi
1992 Heer Ranjha
1992 Humlaa
1992 Jeevan Ek Sanghursh
1992 Khel*
1992 Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja
1992 Zindagi Ek Juaa
1993 Gurudev
1993 Phool
1994 1942: A Love Story*
1994 Andaz
1994 Laadla*
1994 Mr. Azaad
1995 Trimurti
1996 Loafer
1996 Mr. Bechara
1996 Rajkumar
1997 Deewana Mastana
1997 Judaai*
1997 Virasat*
1998 Gharwali Baharwali
1998 Jhooth Bole Kauwa Kaate
1998 Kabhi Na Kabhi
1999 Biwi No. 1*
1999 Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain
1999 Taal*
2000 Bulandi
2000 Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai
2000 Karobaar
2000 Pukaar*
2001 Lajja*
2001 Nayak*
2002 Badhaai Ho Badhaai
2002 Rishtey
2003 Armaan
2004 Musafir

* acclaimed performance


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