Veteran Bollywood filmmaker Yash Chopra, who turned 80 Thursday, talked about his journey in the show business with superstar Shah Rukh Khan in a heart-to-heart televised chat. Chopra said his family wanted him to become an engineer but he knew he wanted to direct films. “My mother said do what your heart says. She gave me Rs.200 and said my blessings are with you. Go ahead and don’t worry,” recalled Chopra, who is about to release a new film, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, starring Shah Rukh, in November.
Shah Rukh, who was the interviewer, made Yash Chopra sing: “Oh meri zohra jabin…” from his 1965 film, Waqt.
Chopra said his elder brother, B.R. Chopra, was like a father figure.”This was the most emotional phase of my life. B.R. Chopra is my father, guru, guide. And I’m sitting here just because of B.R. Chopra and no one else. I wanted to fly on my own wings,” he said.
It was not easy to start a production house, Yash Raj Films, independently in 1971, he said.
Shah Rukh said Chopra was one of the few directors who made two superhit films simultaneously – Deewar(1975) and Kabhi Kabhi (1976).
“Till today, Deewar was one script which was flawless. I thought Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor were best for the film. They were punctual and I could depend on them,” said Chopra.
“Kabhi Kabhi was the most enjoyable film I have made. It was like a picnic,” he said.
Chopra, who made Silsila with an ensemble cast in 1981, said it was ahead of its times, even though the original casting was different.
“I wanted Parveen Babi for the role Rekha played and Smita Patil for Jaya’s role. But when I met Amitabh and told him about the cast, he asked me if I was sure.”
During teh chat, Chopra also discussed his flop films like Vijay(1988).
“When I was making Vijay, I was making films just to be successful and not from my heart and I knew I was making the wrong kind of films. I decided to make a hardcore romantic film with nine songs and this is how I thought of Chandini(1989),” he said.
Chopra then began his next romantic film era with superhits such as Darr(1993), Dil Toh Pagal Hai(1997) and Veer-Zara(2004).