A stud, a talented actor, and above all a great human being, Vinod Khanna may have left for his heavenly abode but he carved a place for himself in everyone’s hearts and minds. Here are some wonderful memories of the original heartthrob of Bollywood, shared by some of his colleagues.
I first got to know Vinodji when I did Batwara with him. We used to have interesting chats about the meaning of life. After that I once campaigned for him at Gurdaspur, and met him many times. I shared a very warm friendship with VK and Kavita. The manliest and most handsome actor of the Indian screen will be missed and remembered forever. His work makes him immortal.
I met him last year at a convocation ceremony at Whistling Woods, when he was honoured with a maestro award for his outstanding contribution. He was a very handsome man on and off the screen. He celebrated his life with love and dignity and compassion for others. His service to the nation as an MP is noteworthy too. He will always live in my heart and mind. Goodbye, Vinod. RIP
Vinod Khannaji was one of the most influential stars of the 70s and the 80s with regards to style and lifestyle. Millions of fans loved his style and copied him. Women wanted their men to be debonair like him. And I remember how disappointed I was when I heard that he had given up films and submitted to Rajnish and equally elated and thrilled when he’d returned!! I used to copy his swagger. Shyam of Mere Apne, Jabbar Singh of Mera Gaon Mera Desh & Amar of Amar Akbar Anthony are some of the many portrayals that will LIVE on in my mind forever!
It was our lifelong dream to work with him. Our generation grew up watching his films and learning from them. I still fondly remember when we approached him to be a part of our film, Players. Even though he was not keeping well at the time, he wanted to be a part of the film. Like a true professional and gentleman, he told us of his ill health and asked if we still wanted him to be part of the project, given that it would require us change our schedules to accommodate his dates.
We knew we wanted him, no matter what it took. He had an aura that was so grand. Our film required him to do action sequences and we had called for a body double, but he insisted on doing all his sequences himself. Before starting to shoot, we told him that his part would require action scenes and asked if he would be comfortable with that. I still remember his words, ‘Zindagi bhar action hi toh kiya hai, ab kaise na karu?’ As a person and as an artiste, we learnt so much from him. His is a grave loss for our industry. Actors of his calibre are rare. We will miss him.
He was a superstar in the truest sense of the term. His aura, his personality and his down-to-earth attitude made him such a great person. I was lucky to have worked with him. I grew up watching his films and he was one of the finest actors of his time. Our generation learnt the art of acting by following his work. His jovial nature and his willingness to help made him very special. He has left a void which can never be filled.
Words cannot express what I feel about Vinodji. He was not only an integral part of the industry but very dear to people. The kind of films he made reflected his personality; he was the real Man of our industry. My first film as a director, Hulchul, had his blessing and he was part of it. That was the first time I spoke to him, and he was appreciative of my work and agreed to do the film. He was very fond of me and he always motivated me to do my best. He played a cop in the film and whenever he entered the sets wearing the uniform, no matter what you were doing, you were forced to stop and take notice of him. That was the power of his personality, his presence.
The kind of dedication he had for work is something not many actors have. He did each project with utter sincerity. I remember when I first met him, he bluntly told me that he would never come to a set before 11 am, that he didn’t have anything to prove to anyone and he worked only when he liked the content of a film.
He loved my film and so agreed to be a part of it. He was so professional that he was never once late to the sets and always gave a performance worthy of praise. I remember we had to shoot a chase sequence and he came to the sets in character, but he was limping. I asked him if he was okay and he told me he had sprained his ankle and been advised by doctors to rest for a few days. The doctors had told him not to move and there he was on the sets ready to run behind the goons! I told him we should change the sequence but he insisted that he would do the scene just as planned.
He said, ‘I will run and you just shoot’. I called for five cameras and when I called out action, he ran just like any young guy. His dedication and his love for the art of filmmaking are what made him such a star. Meeting him would be an explanation in itself of why he was so loved and adored by everyone. He was, he is and always will be an integral part of our industry.
Vinod Khanna truly lived his life the way he wanted, for most of his years! Sach mein cool rockstar hi tha woh… It’s a very, very sad moment for the film industry. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
I had the pleasure of working with him in two films – Wanted and Ramaiya Vastavaiya. For me, he was a legend and I was very excited to work with him. I would like to say that apart from being a great human being he was also extremely stylish and cool. I remember he used to come on the sets with a stylish leather bag, chewing gum, dressed fashionably and looking so handsome.
He used to interact with everyone on the sets and speak warmly to every individual. When we were shooting for Ramaiya, he and Randhir Kapoor would sit with us and tell us about their heyday and share interesting stories from their past. He was jovial and made everyone around him smile. He used to discuss films and how things functioned in olden times. He even mentioned wanting to launch his son Sakshi.
Life can be so unpredictable. May the soul of this wonderful man rest in peace.
I have worked with him in two movies, Dabangg and Ramaiya Vastavaiya, and I spent 40 or 50 days shooting with him. He was an extremely grounded guy. He was very humble. I am glad that I got the opportunity to work with him and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment. Every day, on the sets, we used to eat together, and during our breaks he would share memories, some really wonderful anecdotes about his life. He was full of life and loved talking about his Punjabi roots. He would motivate us to do better. It’s a very sorry feeling to know that he is not around any more. A wonderful human being is gone, and it’s a big loss to our industry.
Vinodji had an aura about him. When he walked onto a set, everybody knew they were in the company of a star. I remember an introductory shot of him in my film Koyelaanchal, where he had to walk out of a room towards the camera… and what a walk it was! Vinod Khanna was a head-turner. His sheer presence and wealth of experience had the capacity to intimidate, but he never made you feel like you were any less. He was warm and cordial towards every individual he interacted with. I had a fabulous equation with him.
I did Deewaanapan with him, his comeback film. I had to do an all-night sequence and I told him I was going to start at 7, but since it was a night scene, it might take long. He said, ‘Yeah ok, fine.’ By the time we finished, it was 3 am or 4 am, but he didn’t say anything. On my return to Mumbai, I happened to mention the incident to a big producer. I told him Vinodji had worked with me and we worked through the night. The producer was shocked that he had actually worked all night.
I remember once… We have something called a stand-in, where you make an assistant stand in the frame and you set up the lights, do the choreography , design the scene, take test shots etc, based on which the camera man will do the lighting. For one such scene, I told Vinodji to rest for a while, while I did all this. He said, ‘I am standing do the lighting.’ So there was no stand-in for him. He did it himself. And we did this sequence in the sun in Aurangabad.
Cut to 2013. I am doing Koyelaanchal with him, and we are shooting outdoors in Jharkhand. There too he surprised me with his thorough professionalism and discipline. He would be out there in the hot sun, without complaining.
Today, when we shoot on digital rather than 35mm stock, actors don’t do many rehearsals. They’ll do one or two and then say, let’s go for a take. But that wasn’t the case with Vinodji. He rehearsed and rehearsed till he was certain that it was fine. He would give his best to every shot and this after devoting 40 years of his life to the trade. And if the call time was 7 in the morning, Vinodji would be on the sets by 6.45 am. He did everything that his character called for.
He was very aware of what he was doing. If you were not good at your craft, it was not easy to handle Vinod Khanna because Vinod Khanna knew not only the nuances of performance and acting but was well-versed in the craft. He was savvy with all the technicalities. Still, he never imposed himself as a senior actor. He never said ‘I want this or that’… He was very humble to work with.
I learnt so many things from him. It was enlightening to work with him. He knew the whole operation. He knew about lenses, he knew when it was going to be a wide angle shot, when it was going to be a close-up, when it was going to be a mid-shot; and he would perform as per the set-up. They don’t make men like him now. We have lost a legend.
Vinod Khanna was a fantastic actor and a superb human being. I never thought he would leave us so soon. But waqt ke age kisika zor nahi chala, samya toh chalta hi gaya, aishe lagta hai ki koi apna sa chala gayae. May his soul rest in peace.
He was one of the most handsome men in our industry. I still have the trophies of Amar Akbar Anthony at G7 and Maratha Mandir. He was a rage in his time and had he not gone on his spiritual quest, he would have been at par today with Amitabh Bachchan. His comeback film Insaf was a huge hit.
I had the pleasure of knowing him personally too. He was humble, extremely open to criticism and would never feel bad if he was told that he could have done a few things better. After one of his films, I had told him his dialogue delivery could have been better and he was sweet enough to say, ‘Yeah, I had not been in touch with the craft for so long.’ That was Vinod Khanna… simple, grounded and yet a superstar. May he find eternal peace.
He was a great personality, an extremely humble human being and an equally talented actor. All his films were huge hits. Especially his films with Amitabh Bachchan, like Amar Akbar Anthony, Parvarish, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar. There was a huge craze for him among the masses. He was a legend. May his soul rest in peace.