Veteran actor Amol Palekar, who rose to prominence in Hindi cinema in the 1970s, admitted that the south Indian film industries were much more organised and well-run than the Hindi film industries even in those early years. Only three performers in Hindi films, including himself, were known for arriving on time, according to Palekar.
Amol Palekar compares early Bollywood with south cinema; says, “I found the south Indian film industry to be so much more professional”
Amol told Rajshri Unplugged, “There were only three actors in our time who used to show up on time, and I was the most junior in that list. First was Dev Anand, if he was required at 9 am, he would be there sharp at 9. Second was Amitabh Bachchan, on dot every time, anywhere. Third was me.”
When Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth were both shooting in the same studio at the same time, Amol noticed that while Bachchan would always be on time, Rajinikanth would arrive far earlier. He said, “Amitabh always used to be on time and Rajinikanth would arrive even earlier, ready with make-up. He would come and sit there with the spot boys, light boys. He would sit with them on the bench and talk with them, have tea with them. And at the given time, if the shift is at 9, he would go up to the director at 9 and say, ‘Yes sir, I am ready’.”
In the Hindi film industry, it was formerly fashionable for people to arrive late as a symbol of their being the bigger celebrity. Amol said, “There was a trend here in the Hindi film industry that the bigger the star, he would arrive that much later, or the one who arrives late is the bigger star. I found this extremely unprofessional.” He added, “All these wrong trends were not there in the south film industries.”
“I found the south Indian film industry to be so much more professional, extremely well equipped and without any how do I put it? We have a lot more frills. That’s not the culture there. They are all very humble, very nice people to work with. I used to enjoy working there,” Amol added.
He observed that the current generation of performers is significantly better prepared, arrives on time, and knows their lines; therefore the culture of the Hindi film industry has now altered substantially.
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