Monday, August 17, 2015

Parsi actors who made it big in Bollywood

As the nation celebrates Parsis New Year today; Raaga.Com wishes Happy Nowroz to all Parsis brethren around the globe and take a peek at top 5 Parsi actors who made a mark in Bollywood.

Sohrab Modi 

He is perhaps the most powerful Parsi actor cum filmmaker who dominated Bollywood in the early 40’s and 50 with his historical movies. Who can forget his super hit films like KHOON KA KHOON (1935), a version of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'. His other memorable films include PUKAR, SIKANDAR, PRITHVI VALLABH, JHANSI KI RANI, MIRZA GALIB etc. 

His great contribution to Indian cinema won him Dadasaheb Phalke Award.


John Abraham 

Son of a Malayali Nasrani father and a Parsi mother, John Abraham is not only popular as an actor and model, but has also earned acclaim as a producer. His choice of subjects is really commendable. Both his films VICKY DONOR and MADRAS CAFE tackled subjects that few filmmakers dare to touch. Further his interest in sports and fitness has a positive influence on youth. 

Boman Irani 

After the exit of Amrish Puri, there was a vacuum in the industry for a good character actor but thanks to Boman Irani, he filled the vacuum with competency. With the amazing range to emote he has been excellent in any role be it a villain in MUNNABHAI MBBS to a comedian in MAIN HOON NAA. His other hit films include 3 IDIOTS, PK, DON 2 etc. 

Farooq Sheikh 

Few know that dynamic parallel cinema actor Farooq Sheikh was born to Farida, a Parsi Zoroastrian mother while his father was a Muslim, Mustafa Sheikh. He belonged to a family of landlords and his father was a lawyer from Mumbai. He grew up in a posh surrounding along with his four younger siblings. Yet despite such regal upbringing he was down to earth and an actor par excellence. His hit films include Satyajit Ray’s SHATRANJ KE KHILADI, NOORIE, CHASME BADDOOR, UMRAO JAAN, BAZAAR etc. 

Farhan Akhtar

Son of eminent script writer Javed Akhtar and Parsi mother Honey Irani, who dominated the 50’s and 60’s as yesteryear famous child actress, Farhan Akhtar has made the name of his parents to dizzy height with his acting and film making.

Biopic on Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray; Grandson to direct the film

SAHEB, a biopic on Bal Thackeray, Maharashtra’s most revered and dear political leader is being directed by none other but the grandson of the late Shiv Sena Supremo. 

Produced by Smita Thackeray, the daughter in law of Bal Thackeray addressing the media announced that the movie that has been in pipeline since the legendary leader was alive. 

She said, “Saheb (Bal Thackeray was fondly addressed) was aware that I was passionate on making a biopic on his life hence he had asked me to be around him. Hence I would be after him, whenever he was free, he would talk about his life which I collected and record as data.”


On being quizzed why she has opted for a young director instead of a veteran, she instantly said, “It was Saheb’s wish. Since Rahul was very close to Saheb and had expressed his desire to become a filmmaker, Saheb wanted to launch him in a big way. But unfortunately, he could see Rahul becoming a director hence as a tribute to Saheb it was unanimously decided that Rahul would direct the film.” 

It may be noted that Rahul Thackeray has completed his filmmaking course from Canada after which he has assisted Raju Hirani as an assistant in PK. 

The film is in its final stages of scripting and will start shooting end of this year to be released on Bal Thackeray's birth anniversary on Jan 23, 2017. 

Though the casting is yet to be finalized speculations are high who will play the title role of Bal Thackeray. Whoever plays the lead role but according to Smita the actor must have an aura, good voice and a command over his dialogues.

How Ramesh Sippy found his iconic villain Gabbar Singh?

As the nation celebrated August 15 with patriotic fervor, the film industry recalled 40 years of SHOLAY, which was released on August 15. 1975. 

Regarded as the corner stone of Indian Cinema, SHOLAY owes half its success to its iconic villain Gabbar Singh. Raaga.Com enlightens readers how Ramesh Sippy, the film’s director finally found his dreaded villain Gabbar Singh. 

Writers Salim Javed in an interview informed how the role of Gabbar Singh had created a flutter among the artists as everybody from Sanjeev Kumar to Dharmendra to Amitabh Bachchan was hell bent on playing the role when the key actor Danny Denzongpa moved out of the film.


Javed Akhtar said, “Since Danny was the most sought after villain in the early 70’s hence he was the original choice but as he had committed his dates to Feroz Khan for his film DHARMATAMA, hence he backed out from the film as the shooting dates for both films clashed.”

“With Danny out every actor from Sanjeev Kumar to Dharmendra to Amitabh Bachchan tried to persuade Ramesh Sippy to grab the role because the role had shaped up fantastically but Ramesh Sippy was adamant to have someone who could give that ‘extra’ which the role demanded. Hence after a patient effort and desperate search, Salim Khan introduced Amjad Khan to Rameshji,” informed Javed. 

Salim Khan recalling the first meeting of Amjad Khan with Ramesh Sippy reminisces, “When I went to Ramesh Sippy’s house with Amjad Sippy, Sippy Sahab was lying on the diwan with his back to the door. Hence from the low angle Amjad Khan appeared larger to him. Besides Amjad Khan’s debonair ‘Pathan’ looks aided with his curly hair and his hoarse baritone startled Sippy Sahab and his eyes glittered. With an utter exhilaration Rameshji exclaimed “I have got my Gabbar Singh!” 

True to Ramesh Sippy’s vision and his confidence Amjad Khan who made his debut in the film gave his career best performance that made him immortal. 

Till date millions of his fans, do not know his real name but remember his as Gabbar Singh.! 

However the younger generation will be shocked to know that despite such an immortal performance Amjad Khan was not give the Best Villain Filmfare Award!!!