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When Raj Kapoor refused to visit China because of his 'size'

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Raj Kapoor's films might have travelled to China, but his son revealed that the actor-filmmaker never visited the country as he did not want fans to see him after his weight gain.

said his father's films were so popular in that the late once received an invitation to visit the country.

"One day, he called me and said he got an invite to visit because his films are very popular there and we all are going to China! He was very excited and so were we.

"While we were making arrangements, two days later he called me and said, 'I am thinking, let's not go to China'. He said, 'They are in love with the of 'Awaara', 'Shree 420' and look at my size now! I don't look like that anymore'!" he said.

said despite being the pioneer of Hindi films in China, the never visited the country as he did not want to disappoint his fans.

"He said, 'has been seeing me over the years in various sizes so they accept me even now, but I don't want to disappoint all my fans and break the image (in China). I am not the they think I am'," recalling the conversation with his father, he said.

"That was the in him speaking. He didn't go. All his life he never went to China! He is still very popular, his films are very popular. Now all our films are going there (China) but he was the pioneer who took our films there. But the actor in him didn't want to break the image," he added.

Randhir, along with brothers and Rajiv Kapoor, was speaking at a panel discussion last night during 'Awards for Excellence in Entertainment'.

The session was moderated by

Randhir said of all the characters his father played, the 'common man' role is his personal favourite.

"He created the 'common man' character Raju for himself. One of my favourite films of his -- not produced or directed by him -- is 'Anari', which again had the same common man which Hrishikesh (Mukherjee) da took (inspiration from). I like the common man character," he said.

Rishi said 'Anand' was originally written for his father. The role was later played by

"He missed two films which he couldn't do which were created for him. One was 'Anand'. Hrishi da had discussed it with him, he wanted to make it with him," he said.

"The second film was L V Prasad's'Milan', which later had and Nutan. That's why all the songs are sung by Mukesh. Prasadji waited for papa but he was busy with something else so he couldn't do it," he added.

Rishi also revealed that his father nearly missed the opportunity of being directed by legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray.

"Originally 'Jaagte Raho' was offered to Satyajit Ray to direct but he wasn't available. That's why the the whole crew was Bengali in the film because Dada was supposed to direct it... My father missed being directed by Ray and, in fact, my grandfather just missed being directed by the great in another film," he said.

Filmmaker was conferred the first 'Raj Kapoor Awards for Excellence in Entertainment' at the event.

Director R Balki, who recently directed "Padman", and Umesh Shukla, the helmer of "Oh My God", were also honoured.

The event was a part of the two-day 'Elevate 2K18' bi-annual conclave, held here.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 15 2018. 13:50 IST