Seen Andhadhun? Now, Meet Anil Dhawan, the 70s’ Star Who Plays Tabu’s Husband

Seen Andhadhun? Now, Meet Anil Dhawan, the 70s’ Star Who Plays Tabu’s Husband

Anil Dhawan who is the uncle of Varun Dhawan, play a yesteryears’ star who is bumped off by his wife in the Sriram Raghavan film
Seen Andhadhun? Now, Meet Anil Dhawan, the 70s’ Star Who Plays Tabu’s Husband
Anil Dhawan and Andhadhun movie still

In  the well-received  suspense thriller Andhadhun, starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Tabu, the celluloid star of  the 1970s  Anil Dhawan  is  cast as a  superstar of yesteryears who is bumped off by his wife.

Anil who  had a very successful innings in the 70s can’t believe  the  popularity that Andhadhun has brought him. “My phone hasn’t stopped ringing since Friday. I am giving interviews  in  a loop. I keep asking myself, what is going on? All I know is, I am  happy a new generation has discovered me,” says  Anil who is Varun Dhawan’s uncle.

The star of the 1970s who  featured in such path-breaking hits as B R Ishara’s Chetna, Basu Chatterjee’s Piya  Ka Ghar, Asit Sen’s Annadata and many other hits, says  he  is proud that Andhadhun has opened well in spite of  no major star in the  film. “Andhadhun doesn’t star my nephew (A-list star) Varun. It stars  Ayushmann Khurrana. And  still it is being widely  appreciated.  It just goes to show the audience will embrace good content no matter who the  actors.”

Anil says working in Andhadhun didn’t  require any deep contemplation. “It was a big YES from me from the  minute I was offered the  role. For one, the director was the  fantastic  Sriram Raghavan who has done wonderful work with Varun (Dhawan) in Badlapur. Secondly I was being offered the role of a yesteryears’ superstar, which I was at one time. I had a glorious innings in the 70s with films like Doraha, Chetna, Piya Ka Ghar, Samjhauta, Annadata and Hawas. I got  to sing some of  the  biggest  hits on screen like Main toh har mod par tujhko dhund na saka(Chetna), Yeh jeevan hai(Piya Ka Ghar), Guzar  jaye din(Annadata), Samjhauta ghamon se  kar lo(Samjhauta) and  Teri galiyon mein(Hawas).”

Almost all of these films and songs feature in Andhadhun. Where did Sriram Raghavan  get this rare footage? “From me,” comes Anil’s prompt response. “I’ve a collection of all my films and songs. I watch them all the time. In the film my character Pramod  is scolded by his wife for constantly watching his own  films. It’s more  or  less the same in my real life. All the songs and  scenes  of my films that you see in Andhadhun were provided by me. I am  glad I collected them over the years. No film archives in India keeps  comprehensive  footage  of  actors.”

Then came  the clothes in Andhadhun. “I dressed  up the way I used to in the past in the 1970s. This former star that  I   play lives happily in the past.”
Anil says Andhadhun is a new beginning for him.  “For 17 years  I did television.  It was  gruelling but satisfying. About three months ago I stopped working on  television. Now  I  want  to focus on good roles in  films. Nothing faltu for me.”

Why is Anil not seen in his brother David Dhawan’s films? “That’s a good question. I’ve  worked with David in Hero No 1 and Rascals where  the role  suited  me. Otherwise  I don’t fit into them. I can’t see myself  doing the comedy that  my brother  makes. It wouldn’t suit my personality. In my heydays I had a very sober romantic image. This is why I withdrew  from film acting when the action era  arrived. I’d have looked ridiculous fighting  a bunch of  goons.”

Anil looks back with much joy at his brief stint with stardom. “It was  a terrific  innings. Sadly a journalist recently wrote about me recently mentioning some odd horror films like Darwaza and forgetting that I’ve worked with some of  the best directors like B R Ishara, Basu Chatterjee and Asit Sen. I did trendsetting films. How can you  forget  all of this and write only about some horror films?”

There  is one  more reason why Andhadhun is  special to Anil Dhawan. “I had shot my first film Chetna in the city of Pune and now Andhadhun was  also shot in Pun.  Chetna was considered a film way ahead of its time. Andhadhun is  also very bold. So in many ways this  is a homecoming for  me.”