Big B had known Vidhu Vinod Chopra since long but never had the opportunity to work with him except doing a voice over for his film 1942-A LOVE STORY. When Vidhu Vinod Chopra narrated the story of EKLAVYA, the millennium star agreed to do the film. It was not an easy path for Big B there onwards. He had to grow his beard for the role, keeping all his other films on hold. Not only this, during the shoot in Rajasthan desert Big B had yet another close shave with a life threatening incident when he was hit on the head by a camel’s hoof while doing an outdoor action sequence. His Rajasthani pagadi saved him from a major head injury.
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However, the biggest hurdle he faced was to overcome the apprehensions of his better half Jaya Bachchan who had known how Vidhu Vinod Chopra behaved on the sets. After all she is an alumnae of FTII, the same institution Vidhu Vinod Chopra comes from. While Big B was packing his bags to move to Rajasthan for a 100-day shooting schedule, she warned him that he would be back in three days since he won’t be able to deal with a director who is known for his hot-temper and abusive behaviour on the sets.
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Thankfully, for both Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Big B, her apprehensions were proven wrong. The director took good care of the iconic super-star and the schedule was finished without any hitch. This was revealed by Big B himself on the concluding day of the retrospective of Vidhu Vinod Chopra films during a ‘Conversations’ session.
(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for BollywoodTrade.com. He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)