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When Poonam Dhillon spoke about Rishi Kapoor's childlike nature

Updated on: 18 April,2024 12:09 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

On Poonam Dhillon's birthday, we recall the time she spoke about the late actor Rishi Kapoor and how he was one of the few superstars to work with newbies

When Poonam Dhillon spoke about Rishi Kapoor's childlike nature

Rishi Kapoor and Poonam Dhillon

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When Poonam Dhillon spoke about Rishi Kapoor's childlike nature

In 1977, Poonam Dhillon won a beauty pageant that drew attention to her. Legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra then approached Poonam Dhillon in his 1978 film 'Trishul'. The popular song Gapoochi Gapoochi Gum Gum from the film was picturised on her and co-star Sachin Pilgaonkar. She was only 16 at the time.

Poonam Dhillon initially refused Yash Chopra's offer to work in 'Trishul', but the late great producer-director persisted and was eventually able to convince her to be a part of the film under the condition that her filming schedule occurs during her school holidays. 'Trishul' (1978), which also starred Sanjeev Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Rakhee, Hema Malini, and Sachin Pilgaonkar was a blockbuster and Poonam Dhillon went on to star in several successful Bollywood films over the years.

She also starred in several film with the late Rishi Kapoor. "I have lost count of the number of films I did with Rishi Kapoor, especially in the early '80s. There were movies like Biwi-O-Biwi (1981), Tawaif (1985), Sitamgar (1985), Zamana (1985), Ek Chadar Maili Si (1986), Dosti Dushmani (1986) and many more," she had said in an old interview. 

"I was a newbie then, but he was willing to work with fresh faces. At that time, he was the only star who had no qualms about teaming up with novices. I would tell him that he deserved to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for collaborating with the maximum number of new heroines. He could rattle off names [of all those he worked with], and would often wonder where some of them disappeared," she added. 

She further spoke about Rishi Kapoor's nature. "He was a natural and spontaneous actor, one who would laugh and fool around with the unit off camera, but instantly [transform] into the character when [we] rolled. You could see the passion in his eyes as he enacted scenes. Like all Kapoors, he too loved his food. The most distinct memory I have is going to RK Studios and [enjoying] the lavish spread and hospitality of the Kapoors."

"When he came back, we caught up with each other. He was not pretentious. He would not hide that he loved his drink. His wife Neetu would ensure that he had healthy meals, but, as soon as she would leave the room, he would quickly take a bite of [the food he was forbidden from eating]. He was childlike," she added. 

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