First of Many: Rakesh Bedi revisits Ahsaas

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Veteran actor Rakesh Bedi has entertained us for the past four decades with several memorable film and TV roles. But do you know how it all started?

Here’s what Rakesh Bedi shared about the first time he faced a film camera:

1. What was your first acting project? How did the project come to you?

In my case, it was more like a campus placement. I belong to FTII, Pune. Ramesh Sippy’s father GP Sippy was the chief guest at my convocation. I was a part of the entertainment team for the event. So, I was compering and acting in a play. GP Sippy came to me post my performance and said he was making a movie titled Ahsaas. It had two leads, and he wanted me to play one of them. I was on cloud nine because this was right after the blockbuster Sholay. If you ask about my audition, I believe my entire performance of three hours on stage was an audition in itself. That film became my first major break.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow3y7UzJpUk

2. What do you remember of your first day on set?

We were shooting a song that had Amitabh Bachchan in a guest appearance. So, it was surreal for me to be working with such a megastar on my first day. The film’s plot kind of revolved around me. The set-up was that my girlfriend is angry with me. She bumps into Amitabh Bachchan at some place and vents out her sorrow to him. Bachchan Ji then makes her dance with him in front of me. I get angry, wondering why he isn’t leaving my girlfriend.

3. Were you nervous? How many retakes did you take?

One is always nervous on the first day. It was a song, so we shot it for 3-4 days. I remember Ramesh Sippy, who was the producer of Ahsaas, praised me a lot after watching the rushes. On that very day, I received some payment for the film, some Rs 1,500-2,000. I was so happy with the praise that I spent the entire amount treating my friends.

4. How was the rapport with your co-stars when you got to meet or work with them again?

The film had several guest appearances. There was Amjad Khan, Shashi Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor too. There was new actors Parvez and Dina. Parvez went back to his hometown in Kashmir. The actress opposite to me was Kiran Vairale. She belonged to my theatre group IPTA. She passed away in US recently. Staying in touch gets difficult over the years. You are connected for a while post the film, but not for a very long time as you get busy in your own lives.

5. If given a chance to go back to your debut role, what would you like to change or do better?

That time I was new, so I didn’t have much say about doing it in a certain way or changing something about my portrayal. You have little experience and confidence to put forward your idea of playing a character.

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6. One film, role or star that inspired you to become an actor? 

I’ve been inspired by Charlie Chaplin since childhood – not just his acting, but even his writing, filmmaking and thought process.



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