The 'Shahenshah' of Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan celebrates his 77th birthday today. In his career spanning over 50 years, the megastar has worked with many leading names in the film industry. While it was Prakash Mehra who gave him the image of the 'Angry young man' with 'Zanjeer', the actor was also equally loved for his brooding, complex roles in Hrishikesh Mukherjee films.
Speaking about his leading ladies, Big B worked with his wife Jaya Bachchan in many films like 'Abhimaan', 'Chupke Chupke', 'Sholay', 'Silsila', 'Mili' among others. But do you folks know that the two stars were supposed to romance each other in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 'Guddi'? The film was Jaya's first screen role as an adult after debuting in films as a teenager in Satyajit Ray's 'Mahanagar'.
Coming back to 'Guddi', Amitabh Bachchan was the first choice to play the male lead and he had even kickstarted the shooting for the film. So then, what went wrong? Read on to know more.
Here's Why Big B Was Dropped Out Of 'Guddi'
The megastar recalled in his blog, "I mention ‘Guddi', because I was the hero of the film, (Jaya, as most know was the Heroine, it being her first film) and actually shot for it for almost 10 days. But, during the making of ‘Guddi', ‘Anand' released and became a huge success. It had Rajesh Khanna in the lead, the first actor for whom the term superstar was coined. Nothing ever has been seen since, that comes anywhere near matching the hysteria and fan madness of those years.
The success of ‘Anand' rubbed a bit off on to me as well and Hrishi Da felt that a now known face for ‘Guddi' would be inappropriate for the film. I was dropped from the film and Samit Bhanja, a very fine and accomplished actor of prominence in Bengali cinema was taken opposite Jaya." (sic)
Hrishida's Sweet Gesture For Amitabh Bachchan
He further added, "I remember I was shooting for a South Production of a film called ‘Pyaar Ki Kahani', when Hrishi Da called me and told me of his decision. I was crest fallen. But he explained to me the reason and I understood. He did, however, do something very sweet.
In a sequence of ‘Guddi', he put in a clip of another film I was shooting for those days, ‘Parwana' where I played an obsessed lover with grey shades. ‘See' he said later to me ‘I have not dropped you from the film, you are very much there'!" (sic)
Big B Has Done Maximum Number Of Films With Wife Jaya
"‘Guddi' had brought Jaya and me together and since she was given the first break by Hrishi Da he became in a sense our godfather. When Jaya and I decided to marry, he was the first one that we went to after telling our parents to seek blessings. Him and Abbas Saheb. There is another fact that many may not know. The leading lady that I have done the maximum number of films with, is Jaya. And most of the films have been directed by Hrishi Da," wrote the actor on his blog. (sic)
Hrishikesh Mukherjee Speaks...
In an interview with Filmfare magazine in 1998, when Hrishi Da was asked about dropping Bachchan from 'Guddi', the filmmaker opened up, "What could I do? After shooting for five-six days, his secretary rang up and said he had no more dates. Anand had been released, he'd become a star overnight. So, I said forget about 'Guddi'. I rang up Amitabh in Madras and told him you are out of 'Guddi' but you will be in my next film. The secretary bungled up."
Later, Amitabh came and said he wanted to marry Jaya. I told Jaya, "I am not coming to the marriage from your side. I'll be there from my son's side."
Big B & Jaya First Met On The Sets Of 'Guddi'
It was love at first sight for Jaya. The actress recalled, "I was introduced to him on the sets of Guddi. I was impressed by him and somewhat in awe as he was Harivanshrai Bachchan's son. I fell in love with him very soon." For Big B, cupid struck when they were shooting for 'Ek Nazar'. The couple finally tied the knot on June 3, 1973.
Even Before 'Guddi', Amitabh & Jaya Were Supposed To Star In This Film
The two actors were supposed to share screen space in 'Ek Tha Chander Ek Thi Sudha' in 1969-1970. Unfortunately, the film never saw the daylight. Here's a still of Big B from that shelved film.