Prithviraj Kapoor’s towering character and his dominating presence on the silver display screen was enigmatic and left a robust affect on the viewers. The veteran theatre actor was very picky about his movie roles and this resulted in him showing in memorable roles the place he gave his all. One of the crucial well-known roles of his profession was that of Emperor Akbar in Ok Asif’s Mughal-e-Azam and for that, Kapoor immersed himself within the character.
In a 2010 interview with The Indian Specific, Shammi Kapoor shared that his father Prithviraj Kapoor’s “highly effective presence” and “thundering efficiency” made him excellent for Akbar. Shammi shared that he was usually current on the set of Ok Asif’s magnum opus whereas his father was capturing the movie.
Shammi Kapoor recalled, “My father bought into the pores and skin of the character by relying fully on the script and the director. He can be on the units, sipping chai and smoking, usually attired, and Asif saab would affectionately inform him to prepare for his shot. He would enter the make-up room saying, ‘Prithviraj Kapoor ab jaa rahaa hai’ (Prithviraj Kapoor is leaving now). When prepared, he would come out saying, ‘Akbar ab aa rahaa hai’ (Akbar is arriving now).”
He then proceeded to share that for the battle sequences, Prithviraj Kapoor wore actual iron armour within the sweltering warmth of Rajasthan. The opening scene of the movie, which confirmed Emperor Akbar strolling barefoot as he prayed for an inheritor was shot in a desert beneath the scorching solar and Kapoor ended up with blisters on his toes, however he didn’t compromise on the authenticity of the shot. “Within the struggle scenes, he uncomplainingly wore the actual iron armour that was so heavy. Through the sequence when Akbar walks to Ajmer Sharif to hope for a son, my father really walked barefoot within the desert solar, and his soles have been stuffed with blisters,” he mentioned.
Whereas Mughal-e-Azam is usually remembered for its love story between Salim and Anarkali, Shammi believed that the movie’s protagonist was Akbar and thus, the title of the movie was Mughal-e-Azam. “Opposite to the favored notion that the movie was the love story of Salim and Anarkali, Mughal-e-Azam, was about this incident in Emperor Akbar’s life, and that’s why Ok Asif didn’t title the movie as Salim-Anarkali. My father Prithvirajji was the Mughal-E-Azam, the hero of the movie,” he mentioned.
Sharing one other anecdote from the long-lasting “Jab Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya”, Shammi Kapoor mentioned that within the sequence, Emperor Akbar was purported to be enraged with anger reflecting in his eyes and director Asif gave him his time to get there. He mentioned, “Throughout Madhubala’s defiant music Jab Pyaar Kiya, the emperor’s eyes flip pink with rage. My father did that sequence with out glycerine. I recall Asif saab telling him to take his time and watched my father develop into that temper and his eyes turning pink.”
Prithviraj Kapoor’s efficiency as Akbar created a benchmark for interval movie performances in Hindi cinema and remains to be thought of as the most effective iterations of an emperor that we now have since seen on celluloid.
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