Hemant Birje, an actor who made history with the movie Tarzan in the 1980s, has had a remarkable career in the Indian film industry. While he gained immense popularity and a dedicated fan following, his journey was not without its share of challenges and setbacks. In a recent interview with Bollywood Thikana, Hemant candidly shared his experiences, shedding light on the highs and lows he encountered throughout his career.
After the success of Tarzan, Hemant’s career took off, and he received a multitude of offers, starring in 107 films, including the memorable Adventure of Tarzan. The audience loved watching him on the big screen, attracted not only by his impressive physique but also by his talent and screen presence. Hemant’s unique appeal led to him becoming a sought-after figure in the industry. Actors like Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt would visit him on sets, seeking to gain insights into bodybuilding and fitness.
During that era, the image of a hero in Bollywood differed from the strong, muscular archetype prevalent today. Instead, heroes were known for their kind-heartedness, singing and dancing abilities, strong dialogue delivery, and good looks. Hemant embodied these characteristics, capturing the hearts of the audience with his performances.
In his interview, Hemant expressed his admiration for Mithun Chakraborty, describing him as a kind-hearted person and revealing that they had worked together in 20 films. Mithun’s support and guidance acted as a pillar of strength for Hemant throughout his journey.
However, not all of Hemant’s experiences were positive. He shared the challenges he faced while working with Dharmendra and Govinda on the sets of Kaun Kare Kurbanie. When Hemant first met Dharmendra, the veteran actor expressed his reservations in Punjabi, questioning the choice of Hemant as the hero. However, the director, Arjun Hingorani, reminded Dharmendra of the support he had received in the past and persuaded him to give Hemant a chance.
Hemant’s encounter with Govinda was also less than favourable, as he described the actor as stubborn and difficult to work with on set. These experiences reflected the competitive nature of the industry, where established actors were often hesitant to share the limelight with rising talents.
Despite facing such challenges, Hemant’s passion for acting remained undeterred. He continued to work on various projects, including the 2005 film Garv, where he shared the screen with Salman Khan. Hemant also expressed his eagerness to collaborate with Shah Rukh Khan, sharing that he had approached SRK with the idea of working together, and Shah Rukh had shown interest in the prospect.
Hemant Birje’s journey in Bollywood is a testament to his resilience, determination, and unwavering spirit. Despite facing obstacles and losing opportunities due to industry dynamics, Hemant’s talent and dedication have allowed him to leave an indelible mark on the Indian film industry. He serves as an inspiration for aspiring actors, reminding them that success often requires perseverance, even in the face of adversity. Hemant’s story serves as a reminder that passion and unwavering commitment can lead to triumph, no matter the challenges faced along the way.
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