Baazigar completed 30 years on Sunday, November 20. It’s a film that needs no introduction as it catapulted Shah Rukh Khan to stardom, though he played an anti-hero. Bollywood Hungama exclusively spoke with Ananth Narayan Mahadevan, who was one of the cast members, and he shared interesting details about the film.
30 Years of Baazigar EXCLUSIVE: Ananth Narayan Mahadevan reveals that his track was added after the principal shoot was complete: “People remarked in the trial show, ‘Shah Rukh Khan bas ladkiyon ko maar raha hai. Lekin woh kyun maar raha hai? Koi reason hi nahin hai’”
How did you become a part of Baazigar?
After Khiladi (1992), (director duo) Abbas-Mustan told me, ‘Aap hamare har picture mein honge’. I thanked them and I believed them as they are genuine people. Then I read in a trade magazine that the shoot of Baazigar is complete. I assumed that it was lip service and they just said it as they wanted to be nice to me.
One day, out of the blue, I got a call from their assistant that Abbas bhai had called me. I asked if they were starting their third film. He said, ‘Nahin. Baazigar ke liye hi bulaya hai’. I wondered why I was being called as the film was complete.
I met them and they told me, “We had a trial of the show. And people remarked, ‘Shah Rukh Khan bas ladkiyon ko maar raha hai. Lekin woh kyun maar raha hai? Koi reason hi nahin hai’.” Hence, they wrote the track of the father. They also said that they wanted to cast me as the father and Rakhee Gulzar as the mother. I told them that I had lost all hope and added that I was glad that I was remembered. Then the father’s track was shot.
The sympathy factor worked. That is what made Shah Rukh get away with murder.
You have worked with Abbas-Mustan several times. How has your experience been?
In Khiladi, I was a villain. I played a sympathetic character in Baazigar. In Baadshah (1993), it was slightly comedic. I just finished 3 Monkeys and thus worked with them after a long time. The experience, as expected, was nice. They were very cool, calm and collected.
Did you go to the cinema halls to check the feedback?
It was a Diwali release, I remember. It came on November 12. On November 13, I started calling up to ask how the reaction to the film was. I was told, ‘Accha response nahin hai’. I had lost hope by Monday. Suddenly, it caught attention. Shah Rukh set a trend for other actors to look at negative parts. By then, he had tried different roles. He was not typecast as a romantic hero. Hence, he had the scope to attempt something different. It was one of his best performances.
You once said in a Bollywood Hungama exclusive interview way back in 2012 that you and Shah Rukh Khan have a sort of father-son bond even off screen…
He keeps addressing me as ‘Ananth sir’. It translated into something tangible when he started his television vertical, Red Chillies Idiot Box. I directed the first TV series for him, ‘Ghar Ki Baat Hai’. It was inspired by 'Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi'. Aziz Mirza wrote the concepts for each episode. That was the biggest kick for me, besides opening up Shah Rukh’s TV company. I also opened Ajay Devgn’s TV banner with ‘Devi’.
What would you like to tell about Aziz Mirza?
I am a big fan of Aziz Mirza’s work. This was a time when he was gradually (retiring). He used to tell me, ‘Kaise kar lete ho direct. Thank God I am not doing it. Your funeral!’.
Are you still in touch with Shah Rukh Khan?
Shah Rukh is very difficult to connect to. He’s so busy. I should run into him and start a conversation.
More Pages: Baazigar Box Office Collection
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