When Asrani said Rajesh Khanna had ‘superiority complex’: He never accepted his downfall

Bollywood Entertainment

Veteran actor-director Govardhan Asrani, whose career in Bollywood has spanned over five decades, talked about late actor Rajesh Khanna in an old interview. Asrani, who worked with Rajesh Khanna in several films including Namak Haram in 1973, said that Rajesh suffered from a ‘superiority complex’. He added that Rajesh was not close to anyone and only liked people who spoke good things about him. Rajesh died on July 18, 2012, after battling cancer. Also Read: Sharmila Tagore says Rajesh Khanna bought houses for co-stars, but expected great things in return too: Tanav ajata tha

Asrani, who has worked in more than 350 films in his career, is best known for his role as a jailer in the 1975 superhit film Sholay. He appeared in more than 25 films with Rajesh Khanna between 1972 to 1991. They worked together in Bawarchi (1972), Badhti Ka Naam Dadhi (1974), Aap Ki Kasam (1974), Ajnabee (1974) and more.

In a 2018 interview with Filmfare, Asrani said, “I worked with Rajesh in Hrishida’s Namak Haram (1973). He was paired opposite Amitabh Bachchan (the duo had worked in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand 1971), who had a string of flops behind him including Sanjog, Bandhe Haath, Bansi Birju… Zanjeer (1973) had not released then. There was a basic courtesy between the two but Rajesh suffered from a superiority complex. He believed ‘no one can shake me. I am too powerful’. Throughout the film there was palpable tension between the two.”

He added, “Through the years my relationship with Rajesh remained cordial. He’d often invite me for drinks. But he never confided in anyone. I don’t think he was close to anyone. He liked to be with people who only spoke good things about him. He never accepted his downfall. Though I did sense frustration developing in him during the shoot of Anurodh. Years later, I was shooting for Aamdani Atthanni Kharcha Rupaiya (2001) in Hyderabad where I went to meet him at Banjara Hotels. He had the same style.”

Rajesh Khanna, with his impeccable journey in the film industry, delivered 17 successive super-hits in three years from 1969-71, which included 15 consecutive solo super-hit films. Some of his most liked films are Ittefaq (1969), Aradhana (1969), Sachaa Jhutha (1970), Haathi Mere Saathi (1971), Kati Patang (1971), Anand (1971), Amar Prem (1972), Bawarchi (1972), Dushman (1972), Namak Haraam (1973), Prem Nagar (1974), Prem Kahani (1975) and many more.

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