Shatrughan Sinha recalled that he dropped out of many films due to Amitabh Bachchan and shared that "Zeenat Aman or Rekha also contributed a little to the rift."
Veteran actors Shatrughan Sinha and Amitabh Bachchan were a dynamic duo on screen in the 1970s but they had their fair share of misunderstandings behind the screen. In Shatrughan Sinha’s memoirs Anything But Khamosh: The Shatrughan Sinha Biography, the actor revealed that he actually “dropped out and returned the signing amount” of a lot of films because of Bachchan.
Sinha shared with the book’s author Bharati S Pradhan that the Sholay star and he were not on the best of terms. “The problem was the applause I was getting for my performances. Amitabh could see the response I was getting. That’s why he didn’t want me in some of his films,” he said.
He recalled that during Kaala Patthar, which was one of the pivotal films of their careers at the time, there was a lot of tension between them. “On the sets of Kaala Patthar, the chair next to Amitabh would not be offered to me, nor would his umbrella be ever trained to cover any of us. We’d be heading from the location towards the same hotel but he’d sit in his car and never say, ‘Let’s go together.’ I found it all very strange and wondered why this was happening because I never had any complaints against him,” he said.
He also opened up about a fight scene that was changed dramatically. While Sinha was earlier told that it would be an equal fight between the two Dostana stars, the scene was changed while filming. Shatrughan said that Amitabh was “beating the hell out of” him until Shashi Kapoor’s character separated them. The Kalicharan star put his foot down and this halted the shoot for 3-4 hours, which irked Bachchan even more.
“People say that Amitabh and I made a dynamic pair on screen but if he did not wish to work with me, if he felt that in Naseeb, Shaan, Dostana or Kaala Patthar Shatrughan Sinha bhari pad gaya (having Sinha around worked against him), it didn’t affect me. There were so many films that I dropped out of and returned the signing amount. There was a film called Patthar Ke Log – one of Prakash Mehra’s – written by Salim-Javed…so many films that I gave up without a backward glance because of Amitabh Bachchan,” he said.
Talking about their rift, Sinha also shared that, “People say that Zeenat Aman or Rekha also contributed a little to the rift.” He added, “During Kaala Patthar, a heroine who was known to be very friendly with him, would visit him. She would come during Dostana also but not once would he bring her out and introduce her to any of us. In showbiz, everybody knew who was visiting whom. The media would immediately know if Reena was in my make-up room. Such things can never be hidden in our world.”
But over the years, Shatrughan Sinha and Amitabh Bachchan seemed to have made up as Bachchan was present at the launch of Sinha’s biography in 2016.
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