Veteran actor Dharmendra believes the film industry has become a ‘sabzi mandi’ (vegetable market)nowadays with money becoming everything for the actors in the current scenario.
The 82-year-old actor says the film world today is way different from what it was in his era as today actors are ready to do anything for money.
“This industry has become a ‘sabzi mandi’ today where you sell, buy and bargain for vegetables. The actors today are dancing and singing for money, go anywhere where money is, get involved in oil massages (pun intended). All for money. Money has everything now, something which was not there in our time,” said Dharmendra.
Dharmendra has worked in more than 300 films in his career with hits like Phool Aur Patthar, Sholay, Yaadon Ki Baaraat, Mera Gaon Mera Desh and Chupke Chupke to his credit.
He has worked with the creme-dela-creme of the film industry including Nutan, Meena Kumari, Dev Anand, Hema Malini, Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjeev Kumar, Amjad Khan, Jeetendra, Jaya Bachchan , Sharmila Tagore, Om Prakash, Rakhi among others.
In his entire career Dharmendra was given one award by Filmfare in the beginning of his career for the best talent and then a lifetime achievement award in the end. Does he have any grudges?
“I went to receive the lifetime award solely because of Dilip Kumar. When I got to know that he will be presenting it to me, that was my award and went to get it just so that the person, the actor I have looked upto since the time I thought of becoming an actor, is going to give me an award,” he said.
“There are certain things that you have to do and I don’t want to talk about as such when it comes to awards. But, I can say that I never had that way on how you should take the awards. I never had that shrewd, cunning brain to get it. I don’t want it and I am not interested in that! Your film is a hit, people, fans love you, that should be your award atleast it is like that for me,” Dharmendra added.
On being a Bollywood star at one point of time in his career, Dharmendra said that he could have remained that way if he wanted, but again stressed that he was never that “shrewd”.
“I could have remained on that pedestal had I wanted but I cannot be in that rat race. Not the one with that cunning mind of not the other letting succeed.”
Known for his comic timing in film like Chupke Chupke and the in between one liners in Sholay, Dharmendra believes the genre (comedy) is itself the most difficult.
“Your comic timing has to be perfect. If the timing is not good you will miss it. In comedy a lot can come from within you. There were a lot of dialogues which were written by Salim-Javed, but there were few dialogues or words that I added myself and they worked like ‘mausiji’ in the suicide scene. It was not in the script but it added to the scene. Comedy has the element of ‘nasha’ to it,” he said.
Dharemendra will next be seen in Yamla Pagla Deewana 3, which is slated to release next year.