Hrishikesh Mukherjee might have been the epitome of good Bollywood middle-class dramas, but the director was a pretty tough overseer on set. So much so that then almost all of its leading people, including Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra faced his anger.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee led his films from the 1960s-1970s, including Chupke Chupke, Gol Maal, Anand, Anupama, Abhiman, Hubsurat, Gooddy, Bavarchi, Namak Haraam and a number of others. But he ruled the sets with an iron hand.
Veteran artist Asrani, one of Mukherjee’s regular employees, told PTI in 2017 that the director never explained scene details to his actors until the last minute. Asrani shared stories from the filming of “Chupke Chupka” (1975), where he played along with Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra…
Asrani called Mukherjee “the headmaster of the school.” On one of the days of filming, Asrani was dressed in a suit, and Dharmendra arrived in a driver’s suit. “Yes, Hrishi sat with the writer Rahi Masum Raza. They both played chess. There were 4-5 assistant directors and I asked them about the scene. But no one answered, ”Asrani said.
Although Asrani did not receive any response from Mukherjee when he asked about the stage and why he was in costume, the reaction of the main actors Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan was somewhat different.
Asrani shared that due to budgetary constraints, the wardrobe department will be duplicating clothes from previous films. “Usually I was unable to wear costumes in films, but now that I was in one, Dharmendra got scared and asked, ‘What’s going on? What is this scene? How did you get the suit and I got the chauffeur’s? “Suit toh apne baap ko bhi nahi dega Hrishikesh Mukherjee” (Mukherjee will never give a suit even to his father), ”Asrani said in an interview.
He added that Mukherjee quickly replied, “Yes, Dharam! What are you asking Asrani about? Scene, huh? Ari, if you had any meaning in the story, would you be a hero then? “
When Amitabh Bachchan had the same question about the office arrangement of the stage, Mukherjee tuned in and shouted again, “Hey Amit! What are you asking Asrani about? Story or Scene? Dharam! Tell him what I told you. Guys, if you had any meaning in the story, you wouldn’t be playing heroes in films! Chalo, get to work, ”Asrani added.
Jaya Bachchan and Sharmila Tagore also participated in Chupka Chupka. It was based on Upendranath Ganguly’s Bengali story “Chhadobeshi”.