When Raj Babbar recalled being replaced in films by Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor: ‘Mere saath aise haadse hote rahe’

Raj Babbar had once recalled how he used to be replaced in movies before he made a name for himself in the film industry. The actor, who is celebrating his 70th birthday on Thursday, even lost out on a role to Amitabh Bachchan after he had already received the signing amount. Also Read| Good content is back, thanks to OTT: Raj Babbar

In an interview in 2016, Raj had admitted that he was replaced by Amitabh in the 1982 film Shakti, which also starred his future wife Smita Patil. That same year, he was replaced by Shashi Kapoor in Namak Halal, which also starred both Amitabh and Smita.

Asked about being replaced in Shakti, Raj had told India TV, “It’s the truth. I used to do plays in Delhi and Salim-Javed (screenwriter duo Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar) had picked me up from here. My screentest was shown to Dilip Kumar sahab (who played Amitabh’s father in the film). Ramesh Sippy was the director. I was selected. But for some commercial reasons I was removed from the film.” When asked if it was because makers thought Amitabh would earn them more money, Raj said, “But that’s right only, he was a star at the time and I was a completely new face.”

When asked if it’s true that he was replaced in Namak Halal as well, Raj said, “Sir mere saath aise haadse hote rahe. Jo mujhe milna chahiye tha wo chheen ke koi aur le jaata tha. Lekin chheen ke nahi kahunga. (These mishaps used to happen to me a lot. Whatever I wanted, someone would snatch away from me. Well, not exactly snatched). Prakash Mehra had signed me for two films, one of them being Namak Halal. I told him that I have no place in Mumbai so you will have to provide me a home. He gave me a place to stay for a year, but after he told me that we won’t be able to give you this role, I said that I am still going to use this house for a year. That house is why I have been able to build a home for me in Mumbai.”

Raj also revealed that his breakthrough role in Insaaf Ka Taraazu, which featured him as a rapist, also came to him after nobody agreed to accept the negative character. The actor later became popular for being able to play both negative and positive characters on the screen. The actor-politician was last seen in the 2021 Hotstar web series Dil Bekaraar.

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