Veteran actor Asha Parekh has said all the major filmmakers during her time wanted to work with her and cash in on her stardom to make their films a box office success. Parekh was one of the top stars in the industry from 1959 to 1973. She worked with all the top heroes of her time including Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand, Rajendra Kumar, Rajesh Khanna and others.
“The film producers and directors rushed to sign me for movies since I had guaranteed box-office success,” Parekh said after launching her biography ‘The Hit Girl’ last night here. “I was chosen for acting in the film ‘Gunj Uthi Shahani’ by Vijay Bhatt. However, Bhatt dropped me from his film after two days saying I was unfit for it,” she recalled.
The 75-year-old actor said she soon got her big break with Nasir Hussain’s “Dil Deke Dekho”. “Within six days after being dropped from Bhatt’s movie, I was selected by Nasir Hussain for his film ‘Dil Deke Dekho’ with Shammi Kapoor and that launched me into the big league and it proved lucky for me.”
Parekh said it would be difficult for an actor like her to survive in the current times in the film industry, as the job of an actor has become far more competitive. “I suspect today’s stars have it tougher than I ever did.
There is far more stress, groupism, competition. There was no competition in the past,” she added. Parekh, who served as the chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification from the period 1998 to 2001, also talked about the controversy over Deepa Mehta’s film “Fire”, which dealt with the topic of homosexuality.
“Sanjivani (a member of the then Censor Board) and I stuck to the collective decision, that the censors would not recall the film for a second opinion. The protests by the self-appointed culture police fizzled out as they often do,” she said.