Ramesh Sippy: One didn't need to direct Rishi Kapoor!

Updated: 01 May, 2020 07:14 IST | Upala KBR | Mumbai

We were happy to know that all was going well until this sudden turn of events. I was shocked to hear of his demise.

Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia in Sagar (1985)
Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia in Sagar (1985)

My first directorial venture Andaz [1971] was with Shammi Kapoor. A decade later, I made Shaan [1981] with Shashi Kapoor. Babita was introduced by my father [GP Sippy] opposite Rajesh Khanna in Raaz [1967]. I made Saagar [1985] with Rishi Kapoor, so my association with the Kapoors goes back a long way.

My daughter, Sheena, was married to Shashi Kapoor's son, Kunal. We are related as well. How much closer can we get?

I was in touch with Rishi but not as much as I should have been. I remember catching a play at the Royal Opera House with his brother Randhir Kapoor. After the show, we sat down to chat and Randhir called Rishi who was at that time seeking treatment in the US. Rishi was sounding fine and kept a positive front. We were happy to know that all was going well until this sudden turn of events. I was shocked to hear of his demise. We had heard that he had been hospitalised. The awful part is that because of COVID-19 and social distancing, we could not go to pay our last respects. I feel miserable about it.

Ramesh Sippy
Ramesh Sippy

I thought of making Saagar after Dimple Kapadia expressed her desire to make a comeback after marriage and motherhood. I sat with Javed Akhtar saab and discussed the script and spoke to Rishi.

We decided to make it a love triangle and got Kamal Haasan on board. It was a lovely experience working with the three talented actors. Unfortunately, it wasn't a success when it released, but over time it lingered on and developed a cult following. Its songs are still a big draw.

One didn't need to direct Rishi. He was such a consummate actor. Once the scenes were narrated to him, he understood it perfectly. He just needed to be ready and come on the set and perform the scene. I didn't have to say much to him about what to do and what not to do. We will miss presence but he will always be with us through his movies.

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First Published: 01 May, 2020 07:05 IST

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