Hema Malini recently revealed the integral role her mother played in selecting scripts like Baghban and passing on roles in films like Satyam Shivam Sundaram
Hema Malini with her mother, Pic/Instagram
Hema Malini recently revealed that she had initial reservations about playing the role of a mother of four in the 2003 family drama film 'Baghban,' directed by Ravi Chopra. However, the movie which starred Hema alongside Amitabh Bachchan later went on to become beloved across generations.
At the time of being offered the film, Hema was in her early 50s and had taken a break from acting, only appearing in occasional projects such as Kamal Haasan's 2000 Tamil-Hindi bilingual crime film 'Hey Ram. Following Baghban,' Hema starred alongside Amitabh Bachchan once again in Yash Chopra's 2004 blockbuster "Veer-Zaara."
In an interview with Lehren Retro, Hema recalled the moment she signed on for Baghban and said that he had had her doubts about accepting the role initially. However, her mother was the real catalyst behind the Raj-Pooja pairing audiences saw on-screen. While discussing the story with Ravi Chopra, her mother was present, and Hema expressed her concerns about playing a mother to four grown-up children. However, her mother insisted that she should take up the role, emphasizing that the story was excellent and encouraging her to accept it. Eventually, Hema agreed, albeit reluctantly.
“I remember when I was hearing the story from Ravi Chopra, my mother was sitting. After he left, I said, ‘Chaar itne bade bade ladka ka role karne ko bol raha hai (He’s asking me to play the mother of four grown-ups). How can I do this.' But my mother said, 'No no no, you must do it!' I said, ‘Why?’ ‘No, the story is very good. You must do it.’ How she was after me. I said, ‘Okay, I’ll do it.' But before that I felt… See, before that, I wasn't doing films. After a long gap, I was working. So I thought, ‘Why should I do this?’ But she said, ‘No, you must do this. The role is very nice.’"
In the same interview, Hema also mentioned an earlier instance when Raj Kapoor approached her for the film 'Satyam Shivam Sundaram.' However, Raj Kapoor expressed his doubts about her willingness to accept the role.
“Raj Kapoor came to me and asked me to do Satyam Shivam Sundaram. But he only said, ‘This is such a film and I don’t feel you would do it. But I am very keen that you should do it. But I know you will not do it."
Hema recalled how her mother too played a role in her passing the film on and told Raj Kapoor that "No no, she will not do all that." A firm mother indeed!
Zeenat Aman was eventually cast in 'Satyam Shivam Sundaram,' the 1978 romantic film directed by Raj Kapoor. The movie featured Raj Kapoor's younger brother, Shashi Kapoor, in the lead role opposite Aman, and it was produced by RK Studio.