Why Sharmila Tagore Decided To Stop Working With Rajesh Khanna
Veteran actress Sharmila Tagore and late actor Rajesh Khanna were the “it on-screen couple” of Hindi cinema for decades. Their on-screen chemistry has been one of the epic ones to date. They first worked together in the 1969 film Aradhana and changed the dynamic of their careers forever. Soon they started teaming up together and made many hit films, including Amar Prem, Safar, and Daag among others. But did you know that this collaboration was stressful for Sharmila and she chose to walk away from it?
In the audiobook, Rajesh Khanna: Ek Tanha Sitara, released on the tenth anniversary of his death on Audible in 2022, Sharmila stated that the late actor’s habit of coming late to work was the main reason. The actress mentioned that she used to reach the studios at 8 am and wanted to be back with her family by 8 pm.
“But this was impossible since Kaka never arrived before 12 for a 9 am shift. And we could never finish on time. As a result, the entire unit would pressurise me to work overtime and complete the schedule. This became the norm and since I had many films with Kaka, I found myself in a quandary,” she added.
Despite being a hit pair, Sharmila decided to work with other actors. She also mentioned that even Rajesh Khanna felt that it was not a good idea to have so many films with one actress. “One runs the risk of becoming stale. Whatever it was, we found ourselves working together in fewer films. And I must confess it was a huge relief,” the Kashmir Ki Kali actress said.
Once Rajesh Khanna ruled over Bollywood but later he became a hit-or-miss actor. His films were not doing well at the box office compared to his contemporaries. The actor was diagnosed with a rare form of intestinal cancer in 2011 and died the following year at the age of 69 on July 18.
Sharmila Tagore made her on-screen comeback with Gulmohar after almost 13 years. The film also marked the ace actress’ OTT debut. Not just that, Sharmila was also seen playing a queer character in the family drama.
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