By Kalash Khurana Last Updated:
Dimple Kapadia made her acting debut with the blockbuster romantic drama, Bobby, alongside Rishi Kapoor. Dimple became a national sensation with her debut film, Bobby. Released in 1973 and directed by Raj Kapoor, the movie also marked the Bollywood debut of the director's son, Rishi Kapoor. For the unversed, Dimple was just 15 years old when she appeared in the film with the titular character of 'Bobby Braganza'. However, not many know that the actress was not the first choice for the film.
In a recent interview with The Times Of India, senior film analyst and historian, Dilip Thakur revealed that Neetu Singh, who later became Rishi Kapoor's wife, was initially considered to play the lead role in the film, Bobby. Talking about the same, he mentioned that Neetu's mother, Raaji, wanted to launch her daughter as a leading lady in the Raj Kapoor directorial at that time. Thakur added:
"Neetu Singh's mother was interested in having her daughter land the lead role in Bobby. She tried, but if rumours were to be believed, Raj Kapoor didn't choose Neetu Singh because she had already done a few films as a child artist such as Dus Lakh, Waaris and Do Kaliyaan."
Dilip further revealed that the legendary director initially considered Neetu Singh for the titular role, but he later preferred Dimple Kapadia over her. Revealing the reason behind the same, he mentioned that Neetu was already a well-known face in the Hindi film industry as a child artist and Raj Kapoor was keen to cast a fresh face opposite his son, Rishi Kapoor in the movie. So, Dimple Kapadia was roped in for the role after she performed a look test with Rishi. In Dilip's words:
"Who will be the heroine of a Raj Kapoor film? That had always been a topic of great curiosity among people. A set was erected for Kal Aaj Aur Kal at the RK Studio. At that time, Chunnibhai Kapadia, the father of Dimple Kapadia, made her do a test for Raj Kapoor. It was the shot where she climbs down a staircase and hugs Rishi Kapoor. Dimple did a take, and she was shortlisted."
The film, Bobby was a huge hit, and it helped Dimple to etch her place in Bollywood. However, despite the massive success of her debut film, Dimple temporarily quit acting as her husband, Rajesh Khanna, did not want her to work in films after marriage. However, Rajesh and Dimple's marriage did not last long due to irreconcilable differences cropping up between the two. Reportedly, after a few years of his marriage, Rajesh Khanna’s stardom started fading away, and his movies stopped performing well in the 70s and 80s. The superstar couldn’t handle his failure, which severely impacted his relationship with Dimple. Finally, the couple got separated in 1982.
Once, in an interview with Annu Kapoor on his radio show, Suhaana Safar, Neetu Kapoor revealed that her first meeting with her husband, Rishi Kapoor was horrible. Neetu and Rishi have worked together in many films such as Amar Akbar Anthony, Khel Khel Mein and Kabhi Kabhie. Recalling her first meeting with Rishi, Neetu Kapoor shared that the actor was a brat who used to bully everyone on the sets and added that he would comment on her make-up and clothes, making her feel so angry. Mentioning that she was very young at that time, Neetu shared that she used to be furious with him.
What are your views about Raj Kapoor preferring Dimple Kapadia over Neetu Singh for Bobby?