‘Heroes want to play the bad guy now’

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Time Out - Monika Rawal Kukreja

Ac­tor Prem Cho­pra (above) carved out a niche of his own when he played the most suave vil­lain on screen dur­ing the 70’s and 80’s. Nowa­days, with lead ac­tors try­ing to play neg­a­tive roles, Cho­pra feels that it’s be­cause every­one wants to im­prove in to­tal­ity and show­case their flex­i­bil­ity. The 81-year-old says, “These young, tal­ented ac­tors are fas­ci­nated by neg­a­tive char­ac­ters be­cause an­tag­o­nists are dif­fi­cult to por­tray. Plus they can prove their ver­sa­til­ity.”

Cho­pra, who played the vil­lain in Bobby (1973), had just one dia­logue in the film. He re­mem­bers, “Since I was al­ready an es­tab­lished star, I didn’t need to prove my self. When­ever I came on screen, people knew that he’s here to cre­ate a prob­lem.” Draw­ing a com­par­i­son be­tween films made then and now, he says, “In our times, there were three ma­jor char­ac­ters in a film — a hero, a hero­ine and a vil­lain; and the film was wo­ven around them. But now, when the hero is play­ing a vil­lain­ous role, the writ­ers need to ex­plain why he played the bad guy.”

When asked about the looks that vil­lains flaunt, which is quite un­like the ‘bad guy’ im­age that au­di­ences loved watch­ing in the past, Cho­pra feels view­ers have be­come open in their choices. “Ear­lier, there used to be no other medium of en­ter­tain­ment than cin­ema. Now we have TV, video, which keep the au­di­ences oc­cu­pied. So people have started ac­cept­ing heroes play­ing a vil­lain, if they per­form well.” The ac­tor agrees that iconic di­a­logues are a rar­ity now. “We need a bunch of good writ­ers. People pick up scenes from Hol­ly­wood films and im­pose them in Hindi. So, the orig­i­nal­ity is lost.” ■ monika.rawal@htlive.com

HT PHOTO

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