Cult classic film Sholay celebrated its 40th anniversary yesterday. Upheld as an example of excellence in the art of filmmaking, Sholay is the film that launched the careers of some of Bollywood's mega stars today.
Reminiscing about the film, superstar Amitabh Bachchan says, "When I first heard the script of Sholay I told Salim-Javed (the scripwriters) 'I want to do the role of Gabbar'. But Ramesh Sippy (the director) decided to cast me as Jai."
A timesofindia.com article stated that Danny Denzongpa was signed for the role of Gabbar but due to date issues things did not work out and later Amjad Khan was finalised after his name was suggested by Salim- Javed. Khan as Gabbar, the notorious and feared dacoit of the epic film, which turned 40 this week, put the actor in a different league among on-screen villains. According to reports at that time, after Khan bagged the 1975 film, there were apprehensions whether he will be able to pull off the role of Gabbar convincingly. But Khan put up such a power-packed performance that the character of Gabbar has been forever etched in the minds of moviegoers.
Big B however begs to differ on the topic. He says that he was always convinced of Khan's abilities as an actor. He says, "I never thought he (Amjad Khan) would not be able to do it. It was his voice... as Gabbar...the dialogues became famous."
The 72-year old star remembers with nostalgia, "I had a great equation with him. He used to sarcastically call me 'Shorty'. Whenever we used to walk on the sets people used to call us 'Broad' (Khan) and 'Shorty' (Big B)."