Hearing of superstar Krishna’s passing, Jeetendra becomes nostalgic about those crucial years of his career in the 1970s and 1980s when he spent 25 days each month shooting in Hyderabad.
“Krishna and his brother Hanumantha Rao were the producers of the majority of my Hindi remakes of their Telugu films,” Jeetendra tells Subhash K Jha.
“Their Padmalaya studios produced my films like Takkar, Himmatwala, Justice Choudhary, Mawaali, Qaidi, Kaamyaab, Hoshiyar and Pataal Bhairavi. In fact, from the 15 films Padmalaya produced in Hindi, 11 starred me.”
“Toh aana jana laga rehta tha. I remember meeting Krishna and bhabhi in Hyderabad in the 1960s when I wanted to do a remake of his blockbuster Gudachari 116.”
The remake changed the course of Jeetendra’s career.
“The Gudachari remake Farz changed the course of my career. Before this, I was just thrashing around, trying to find a place for myself. Do you know every major star of the 1960s said no to Farz?” Jeetendra, who turned 80 in April, asks, adding, “I am thankful to each one of them. I was probably the last choice.”
“I am thankful to Krishna for bringing the espionage genre to Indian cinema. Farz wouldn’t have happened to me if Krishna had not done Gudachari. We shot Farz on a tight budget. During one schedule in Ooty, we shot four songs including the superhit Mast Baharon Ka Main Aashiq and Happy Birthday To Sunita.”
The original Telugu version of Farz starred Krishna and Jayalalitha.
Jeetendra remembers Krishna as a physically fit man: “I spoke to his son Mahesh Babu this morning. He told me his father had a massive cardiac arrest. Life has become so unpredictable. You never know what is in store for you. You may not have a day’s health problem and yet, you may collapse without warning.
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