Talk about Bollywood villains, and anyone from the current breed won’t really come to your mind instantly. Infact, the icons from bygone era will ring a bell for the audience belonging to any age group, even today. And amid a handful of legends, Prem Chopra will surely top the list.
Prem Chopra was one of the most hated persons on screen, but equally loved off it too. People close to him call him one of the politest actors they’ve ever meet. Unlike his onscreen cunning image, he is indeed a charmer in real life. As the veteran actor turns 82 today, indianexpress.com caught up with him to exclusively talk about his birthday plans. “This is wrong. You guys reveal our age and all the beautiful girls run away. Life starts at 80,” the actor quipped.
“I have my birthday get-togethers with very close friends. But this time because of Navratras, I’m not celebrating in a very big way. I’ll go out with my children only. Otherwise there is no point. Nobody eats non-veg, even we don’t,” he added.
Prem Chopra ruled the silver screen in the 1970-1980. Though he still continues to do films, his best was when he played the antagonist. He said he is content with whatever he has achieved.
“I feel quite good at whatever I’ve been through in the journey of life. But I still have the craving to keep on working because I’m able to work physically. The work stops only when you are physically unable or you stop getting work. But by the grace of God, people are still tolerating me, and I’m being accepted by the people,” he said.
We mentioned about his famous quote as to how men used to hide their wives whenever they saw him, and he burst into a loud laughter, saying, “There’s nothing like that. But there was a time when people got scared. That used to be from person to person. They used to be very delighted and they told me that they are normal like us. It is an actor’s professional job to perform on the screen whatever is required of him. If he doesn’t do that, he won’t be there for a very long run. I won’t be doing the same thing in life. I won’t be raping women or murdering people like that, but it is there on screen and we have to do it as convincingly as possible.”
The iconic actor, however does agree that image of villains has changed with time and reasoning has come into place. “Everything changes with time. In those times, a film used to revolved around three characters – a hero, heroine and a villain. Now, heroes themselves play villain. In those times, if Prem Chopra is a villain, he is a villain. Now when heroes do it, there is a reasoning involved, that why and how has he become a bad guy,” he explains.
So how does he react when people meet him and still mention his famous dialogue from 1973 film Bobby – ” Prem naam hai mera, Prem Chopra”? He says, “Yes, people often say that. Even in foreign countries, when we go for stage shows. I feel very happy because I don’t need to say any dialogue. I can at least remember my name,” he sums it up with yest another laughter.
Check out some throwback photos of Prem Chopra
Here’s wishing the legendary, Prem Chopra, a very happy birthday!