I recommended Amitabh for Sholay but he acknowledges that only now: Dharmendra at Agenda Aaj Tak
Entertainment & Fun  

At Agenda Aaj Tak 2017, Dharmendra spilled the beans on his journey in Bollywood, his inspiration Dilip Kumar and his equation with Amitabh Bachchan.


Back in 1958, a handsome jatt from Punjab boarded a train to Mumbai for Filmfare star talent, and never looked back. After winning the star talent, it took him two years to make his Bollywood debut with Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere (1960). However, it was Phool Aur Pathar in 1966 which helped him make a mark in the Hindi film industry.
In a career spanning over 50 years, Bollywood's Dharam Garam gave some of the most memorable films to the Hindi film industry. On Day 1 of Agenda Aaj Tak 2017, Dharmendra spilled the beans on his journey in Bollywood, his inspiration Dilip Kumar and his equation with Amitabh Bachchan.
Excerpts from the session that was titled 'Yamla, Pagla, Deewana': 
On Dilip Kumar being his role model
I was mesmerised watching him on the big screen. I used to see a glimpse of myself on all filmi posters. I don't know when I was bitten by the filmi bug, but somewhere Dilip saab was behind this fascination to join Bollywood. He was my inspiration.
On his first major hit
With Phool Aur Pathar (1966), I made my mark in Bollywood. It was that era's Sholay.
On his favoruite genre
I have worked in almost all genres. Be it romance or action. But my favourite genre has to be comedy. Getting the right comic timing gives you a different high.
On never winning an award
He has more than 300 films to his credit, but Dharmendra never won a Best Actor award. It was only a few years ago that he got a Lifetime Achievement award, and it was presented to him by none other than Dilip Kumar.
"I went to take that award only because Dilip Kumar was giving it. I have been such a big fan of him, and it was the happiest moment for me. Not because I was receiving the award, but because I got to meet him. I have never been interested in awards. The love of my audience is my ultimate award," said Dharmendra.
On recommending Amitabh Bachchan for Sholay
They went on to become the most popular jodi on screen, with their characters Jay and Veeru in Sholay. But not many know that Dharmendra had recommended Big B for the super-hit film.
"Amitabh says NOW that I recommended him. If he is saying that from where he is now, from such a dizzying height, people will talk about his greatness. He never said earlier that I had recommended him. So now when he says it, people will say he is great, not I," said the veteran actor.
On his favourite directors
Bimal Roy and Hrishikesh Mukherjee were two of the best directors of our times. Both of them have given Bollywood some of the best films. To be a great director, you need to be a great director, and Hrishi da was one of them.
On his magical pairing with Hema Malini
We did many hit films together. People started to like our pairing. There was a connect.



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