Dimple Kapadia: Forty years on, I am still living off 'Bobby'

Dimple-kapadiaThough the then clumsy teenager was stumped by his exclamation, she was to soon discover that Raj Kapoor always put "his actresses on a pedestal — making sure that they never went wrong".

When Dimple Kapadia attended her first screen-test for 'Bobby' (1973), she was made to walk down a huge staircase. With some five steps away from the ground below, she got nervous and jumped off it.

Director Raj Kapoor, who was keenly watching her, exulted: "What an actress". Though the then clumsy teenager was stumped by his exclamation, she was to soon discover that Raj Kapoor always put "his actresses on a pedestal — making sure that they never went wrong". Such was the performance that the director-mentor extracted from her 40 years ago that Dimple Kapadia admits to "being living off Bobby ever since".

The memories associated with her first film are still so fresh that it brings a smile on her face even though she was, perhaps, giving her 10th interview when we met her.

Clad in a maroon-and-beige handloom silk sari, the actor is happy to discuss her next, 'What the Fish', which releases next week.

By her own admission, she got to play a "drama queen" in this. Her character, Sudha Mishra, is "finicky and can't tolerate any wrong doing. She makes matters worse by interfering and setting things according to her. Her take on reality is completely different from what reality is," she says.

The character as well as the story impressed Dimple Kapadia from the very beginning. Still, it took some amount of convincing from director Gurmeet Singh to get her to agree.

"Sudha Mishra is a delight. But after reading the script, I wondered if I would be able to pull it off. When questions like this come to my mind, I tend to run away. That's when Gurmeet stepped in," recalls Dimple Kapadia.

She also points to the fact that screenplays, narratives and subjects of films have changed for better. This works as a draw for senior actors like her.

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