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Shashi Kapoor bags Dadasaheb Phalke Award; third one for the filmy family

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

The Indian government conferred the 46th Dadasaheb Phalke Award to veteran film actor and producer Shri Shashi Kapoor, for his outstanding contribution to the growth and development of the Indian Cinema. The award consists of a Swarn Kamal (Golden Lotus), a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh and a shawl.

A jury of five eminent film personalities set up by the government after due deliberations, unanimously recommended Shashi Kapoor’s name for the prestigious award.

Born in 1938, Shashi Kapoor is a well-known actor and producer from the famous Kapoor family, a film dynasty in Bollywood cinema. Shashi Kapoor is the third person to receive the prestigious award from the same family after Raj Kapoor and Prithvi Raj Kapoor.

Shashi Kapoor is the younger brother of Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor. From the age of four, Shashi Kapoor acted in plays directed and produced by his father Prithviraj Kapoor, while travelling with Prithvi Theatre. He started acting in films as a child in the late 1940s. His best known performances as child artist were in Aag (1948) and Awaara (1951), where he played the younger version of the character played by his elder brother Raj Kapoor. Shri Shashi Kapoor also worked as Assistant Director in the 1950s.

Shashi Kapoor made his debut as a leading man in the 1961 film Dharmputra and went on to appear in more than 100 Hindi films. He was a very popular actor in Bollywood during the 60s, 70s and until the mid 80s.

Shashi Kapoor was one of India’s first actors to go international. He is known internationally for starring in many British and American films, notably Merchant Ivory Proudctions run by Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, such as The Householder (1963), Shakespeare Wallah (1965), Bombay Talkie (1970) and Heat and Dust (1982). He also starred in other British and American films such as Siddhartha (1972) and Muhafiz (1994).

In 1978, Shri Shashi Kapoor set up his production house Film Valas which produced critically acclaimed films such as Junoon (1978), Kalyug (1981), 36 Chowringhee Lane (1981), Vijeta (1982) and Utsav (1984). He also produced and directed a fantasy film titled Ajooba which had Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor in the lead role.

In 2011, Shashi Kapoor was honoured with Padma Bhushan Award by the Government of India. He is also a recipient of three National Film Awards.

Hon’ble Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Arun Jaitley has conveyed his congratulations on the occasion.

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Indian Cinema Holds a Special Place in The Heart of Anupam Kher

Like Anupam always says, "Kucch bhi ho sakta hai (anything can happen)", seeing his journey so far, he wonders how god has forever been kind to him

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Anupam Kher
Indian cinema will always remain important for me: Anupam Kher. Flickr

From working in Indian films for over three decades to achieving global fame with several international projects, veteran actor Anupam Kher, who is currently in the US shooting for his new American series “New Amsterdam”, says he can never overlook Indian cinema for foreign projects.

“It feels good when I get recognition for my international movies and shows, but for me, my own (Indian) cinema is very much important. When I am in some foreign country, I always introduce myself as, ‘I am an international actor from India’.

“Being an Indian actor, I cannot overlook our cinema. And I feel there is no dearth of South Asian actors in world cinema because it completely depends upon the person whether he/she wants to act in international projects or not. Our Indian cinema is self-sufficient in its own way,” Anupam Kher told IANS over phone from New York.

After playing pivotol roles in Oscar-nominated Hollywood movies like “Silver Linings Playbook” and “The Big Sick”, the 63-year-old is currently working in medical drama “New Amsterdam”.

According to Anupam, he has “reinvented” himself by essaying the role of Vijay Kapoor in the show.

Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher, flickr

“Through ‘New Amsterdam’, one of the main things I have learnt is the relationship between doctors and patients. For this show, we are shooting in a real hospital, so I often get a chance to meet patients and doctors. Interacting with the patients made me understand the real value of relations and emotions.

“Now I know what families go through if their loved ones are battling with some illness. I am evolving as a person with this project.”

As the show is already on air and is garnering great response from viewers, Anupam Kher considers this project a “huge achievement”.

Like Anupam Kher always says, “Kucch bhi ho sakta hai (anything can happen)”, seeing his journey so far, he wonders how god has forever been kind to him.

Be it his negative role in “Dushmani” or his comic avatar in “Haseena Maan Jayegi”, the versatile actor, who has been entertaining people with his performances for over 30 years. He has also been feted with civilian honours like the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan.

Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher (Wikimedia Common)

“A young boy from Shimla who dreamt of becoming an actor, successfully paved a path in Bollywood and is now working in Hollywood. What else could I have asked for? I feel blessed that god has always been kind to me. This project has given me a different kind of achievement. I always wanted to do something different and now I have reinvented and explored my new side with ‘New Amsterdam’,” he added.

Apart from his international projects, Anupam Kher is also preparing for his next Hindi film “The Accidental Prime Minister”, a biopic based on the life of former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Anupam Kher, who plays Manmohan Singh in the film, underwent transformation to get into the role. He says it is one of the most challenging roles he has ever done.

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The actor said: “It took 4-5 months to make my body language similar to Manmohanji and a complete month for having control over my voice. It was not like ‘Go inside (the make-up room) and come out (dressed) as Manmohan Singh’. The character demanded huge hard work and I tried my best to play the role with sincerity and conviction.

“Portraying Dr Manmohan Singh’s life on-screen was like a scientist working on his/her discoveries and theories because it is not easy to represent someone who is known by the world. Manmohan Singh is a politician and leader of this generation. People know everything about him. I hope I have done justice to his character.” (IANS)