Having dominated the Bollywood film scenario and history for over half a century as a suave villain-par-excellence, Prem Chopra was at his witty best – while reminiscing about his roles over the years and the changes occurring in the film and entertainment industry – during a music album launch in a Juhu seaside hotel recently.
The actor told Millennium Post that in the past, films were dominated by the three central characters – the hero, heroine and the villain – and the film revolved around them.
“Today, with the advent of television and video, villains that are more educated and emancipated have taken over. The earlier villains were stereo-typed and it was a different ballgame then that was appreciated for those roles.
However, the role of the villain cannot be eradicated as even top stars like Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan have played the role of villains in their movies – thus enhancing the versatility and need of the villain in films,” he said. However, Chopra feels that there is a difference in the villain of today and of the past.
“In the past, the villain had a background that highlighted the reasons behind his becoming a ‘bad’ man. In the film Bobby, there was no need to explain why I was a villain. Today it’s a different story. Anyway, I have acted – and still continue to –in foreign films and am now playing the ‘Godfather’ in its Indian version (as a tribute to the Godfather film made in English sometime ago) which will be shot here in India and abroad. People from Los Angeles are collaborating in this film venture,” he added.
To a query about his “in-the-pink-of-health” good looks, the actor noted simply, “I was born in 1935 and consider my good health as god’s gift. I have done over 400 films and even thought of going in for becoming a film director – but changed my mind. However, my contribution even today as writer of ‘one-liners’ continues.”
To a question about what advice he would offer to newcomers playing villainous roles in the entertainment films and television industry, the actor replied with a serious look, “My advice to them is to accept roles that they can play both positively and negatively in a similar vein, and give
“But, the Best Villain even today is Prem Chopra,” he said cheekily while nodding goodbye and swaggering off to join his beachside party for photoshoots.