Hema recalls her ‘evergreen’ role

The 1975 blockbuster was directed by Ramesh Sippy

Hema Malini is one of the most successful actresses of Indian cinema history. She will always be remembered for her role of Basanti in the evergreen blockbuster Sholay. The actress says it is one of the most challenging role she has ever shot for.

“”Sholay’ is a cult movie but I must add that it was one of the toughest roles I had done because of various conditions.

I was shooting barefoot, and that too in Bangalore, in the month of May. The floor was always very hot and walking barefoot was very tough especially if you are shooting in the afternoon.

Weather conditions made the shooting a little difficult than normal but, overall, the experience of shooting with everyone will always be cherished by me,” she said.

The actor recalled the experience on an episode of the singing-based-reality show Indian Idol 12, when she was asked to recount her experience of shooting Sholay.

The 1975 blockbuster was directed by Ramesh Sippy, and produced by his father GP Sippy. Besides Hema, the film featured Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan as Veeru and Jai, and Amjad Khan as the iconic Gabbar Singh.

Ramesh Sippy recalling the experience

The film was released on Independence Day 1975. Looking back, Sippy has an interesting anecdote.

“I spoke to a theatre owner in south Mumbai after the film released at the box office, and he showed me the popcorn and refreshments counter and said look, it’s empty. At first, that upset me a little because I thought my film wasn’t doing well and that’s why there were no people at these counters.

But then, he told me that all the audience was glued to their seats inside the theatre, and they didn’t want to leave the hall. That is how capturing the film was. I couldn’t have been happier!” he recalled.

“A lot of technological advancements were done way back then, be it the action sequence, or the editing or the way the film was shot. Hence people enjoy Sholay’ even today,” Sippy noted.

Hema Malini, who played Basanti, said: “Before we started shooting, I was told that there is a dance sequence where my character would be dancing on glass on a rough mountain. The shoot took place over the month of April when it is extremely hot. I remember Ramesh ji being very particular about it, but that sequence went on to become an epic.”

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