Raj Babbar has recalled how he met Zeenat Aman for the first time in the late 70s, and she was supposed to okay him for his first big film – BR Chopra’s Insaf Ka Tarazu. Speaking with the production house Rajshri Productions’ YouTube channel Rajshri Unplugged, Raj Babbar also revealed that he was once kicked out of a movie for having a ‘big nose’, after he had begun shooting. (Also read: Zeenat Aman reveals she cried because of Amitabh Bachchan during a film’s shoot)
Being offered a film with Zeenat Aman
Recalling the time he lost out on two big films, and had worked in 14 small films, Raj told the production house that BR Chopra called him so he visited his office. “Chopra ji told me that he is making a film. ‘Zeenat se baat ho gayi hai’ aur mai soch raha hu kaun Zeenat? Par ye bhi tha ki Chopra sahab ki office me baitha hun aur Zeenat kaha ja raha hai, to Zeenat Aman hi hongi. Kahin aur hota to shayad samajh na aata (BR Chopra told me ‘I have had a word with Zeenat and she is ready to work with fresh faces.’ And, I was thinking ‘Who Zeenat?’ Sitting in BR Chopra’s office, I thought if a Zeenat is being mentioned, it has to be Zeenat Aman).”
‘Big heroines used to check out actors’
Even as the filmmaker narrated the story to Raj, the actor said, his mind was stuck on the role of Ramesh and he kept praying that he may bag that role. He added that he got to meet Zeenat the next day. “Unhone mujhe dekha aur okay kar diya. Ji haan unhone humein dekha. Jaise aajkal shaadi ke liye ladkiya dekhi jaati hai na, pehle badhe log, badi heroines, kiske saath kaam karengi, dekhti thi (She saw me and okayed me. Yes, she checked me out. Just the way people check out girls for arranged marriages nowadays, big heroines used to check out who they are going to work with, in those days). But she is a great human. she is a nice person. She told me ‘If you are comfortable, my role is great, I will do it.”
When Raj wore Ravi Chopra’s sweatshirt
Raj Babbar did not tell anyone about bagging the film as he was scared he’d lose the project, just like two other films in recent past. He was even prepared for the rejection when he got a call for a photoshoot. Raj also recalled that BR Chopra’s wife Reena offered him their son Ravi Chopra‘s sweatshirt when they realised Raj did not have a good shirt for the photoshoot.
Being kicked out of a film for ‘big nose’
“The sleeves were short as it was Ravi’s size, so I pulled them back. It was huge (the photoshoot and announcement). But, I was still scared. It was only a photoshoot, I had been kicked out of a film after I began shooting and was told I had a big nose.”
More about Insaf Ka Tarazu
Directed by BR Chopra, Insaf Ka Tarazu featured Zeenat, Deepak and Raj in lead roles. It also starred Padmini Kolhapure, Simi Garewal, and Shreeram Lagoo in important roles. Dharmendra also had a guest appareance in the film.
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