David Dhawan remembers Kader Khan: Bhaijaan was my hero No 1
David Dhawan talks about being at ease as soon as 'my best actor' Kader Khan walked in on set
I got to know at 5 am yesterday that Bhaijaan [Kader Khan] had passed away. I spoke to his son, Sarfaraz. He was crying because he knew the relationship I shared with his dad. I was shattered, and started crying too. You will never see me cry like that.
The first film I did with him was Bol Radha Bol (1992), and the last film was Mujhse Shaadi Karogi (2004). He was excited to work with a newcomer like me in Bol Radha Bol and listened attentively when I narrated his scenes. Role hila ke rakh diya! His work was fantastic. He'd play the most challenging characters with such conviction! I don't think we can get an actor like him again. He was my Hero No.1; an anchor in my career. We did 15 movies together, all of them were hits. Our relationship changed from a professional one, to one that was personal - a deeper, warmer friendship emerged.
When I saw him perform for the first time, I was shocked. He was completely different before the camera, and never did any prep. Today, people read scripts and prepare for days before shooting. He would understand how to perform scenes in no time. If there was a challenging sequence, I didn't have to instruct him about it. He was a race driver; one who was very fast. At times, I would tell him, Bhaijaan, kuch karo na? Mazaa nahi aa raha hai. He would be spontaneous and deliver.
The film industry has not given him what he deserved. Woh raja tha… pen aur acting se kya kamaal karta tha. People thought he wrote great comedies, but the kind of emotional [material] he wrote was unbelievable. He would work on a scene seamlessly, jaise teer maar diya ho. But, he'd never put up a front to imply that he was such a good writer or actor.
He deserved to get a Padmashri award, but did not. He has also got [limited] awards from Bollywood. At a point, the South film industry was in his pocket. Every producer wanted to sign him. When he would land at the airport, four to five cars, full of producers, would be waiting for him.
He conducted himself with dignity, and commanded respect when he came on set. He had the aura of a star - Pathani mein aate the, gaadi se utar ke van jaate the and would ask for the scenes. He would not sit and fool around with us. When he would come on set, my confidence would increase several notches, as I knew my best actor has come.
After he fell ill, I could not keep in touch with him, because he wasn't able to talk. He suffered a lot over the last 10 years. He was also losing his memory. I wish Varun [Dhawan, son] had the opportunity to work with Bhaijaan. But now, it won't be fulfilled. I salute Bhaijaan.
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