By Akanksha Gupta Last Updated:
It is now that infidelity has become common across the globe, but in 1981, Yash Chopra had managed to represent extramarital affair in such a way that it became a cult film, even though it was ahead of its time. But it was the casting of the film, Silsila that had grabbed the headlines back then. By the end of the 70s, Rekha and Amitabh’s love affair had made it to the cover of most magazines. Though Amitabh was already married to his Abhimaan co-star, Jaya Bhaduri, his romance with Rekha had made its way to the industry grapevine. (Also Read: 21 Most Controversial And Talked-About Love Triangles Of Bollywood That Made It To The Headlines)
Silsila was based on the love-triangle of Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bhaduri and Rekha, and for the director, it was like bringing the real-life to the big screen. The idea of Silsila was born when Amitabh’s films weren’t doing good at the box-office. Yash Chopra had earlier brought onboard Parveen Babi and Smita Patil for the roles, but it was Amitabh who had asked him to reconsider. After the shoot had begun, Yash Chopra wasn’t satisfied with the casting as he had wanted the film to stay in people’s minds for a long time, and with that cast, it wasn’t possible. Yash Chopra had also said once that Silsila had one of the most challenging cast in the history of Indian cinema.
In a throwback interview with BBC, Yash Chopra had recalled when he had told Amitabh Bachchan that he wants to cast Jaya Bachchan and Rekha in Silsila and how scared he was as ‘it was real life coming into reel life.’ Yash Chopra had said, "It was Amitji who asked me if I was happy... content with the casting (Smita, Parveen and Amitabh) and do I feel it is the ideal casting. I told him I wanted to cast him, Jayaji and Rekha. He took a long pause and told me that he was fine with the decision but asked me to convince the two actresses. I was always on tenterhooks and scared because it was real life coming into reel life. I had told both (Jaya and Rekha) of them that koi gadbadi na ho."
But do you know the reason behind Jaya Bachchan agreeing to the film, Silsila? Throughout the narration, Jaya was disinterested in working in this film but it was the climax scene which had made her say ‘yes’. The end scene of the film has the husband i.e., Amit Malhotra (Amitabh Bachchan) returning to his wife, Shobha Malhotra (Jaya), leaving behind his extra-marital affair with Chandni (Rekha). (Also Read: 11 Bollywood Divas Who Were Blamed For Breaking Marriages And Becoming 'The Other Woman')
In a throwback interview with the People magazine, Jaya Bachchan had talked about her marriage with Amitabh Bachchan and his alleged romance with Rekha. When asked if rumours about Amitabh’s affairs had disturbed her, Jaya had retorted, “(Thinks) You are a human being, you do react. If you react to negativity, you also react to positivity. You are reassured every second by gestures, by looks, by happenings, and that keeps you going. (Thinks more) A human being at a very vulnerable age and time gets carried away either ways, and if you are sad you are sad, and if you are happy you are happy.”
Without beating around the bush further, when the interviewer had asked her if there was any truth in those affair rumours between Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha, Jaya Bachchan had answered, “If there was any, he would have been somewhere else, na? People liked them as a couple on-screen, and that's fine. The media tried linking him with every one of his heroines. My life would have been hell if I had taken it all seriously. We are made of sterner stuff.” And if she minds if they work together again? Jaya Bachchan had replied, “No, why should I mind? But I feel it will be more like a sensation than actual work. And that's a pity because one will miss the opportunity of seeing them together. Both of them probably realise it will go beyond work.” (Also Read: 9 Bollywood Affairs Of 90s Era Which Make It An Unforgettable And Controversial Decade For Gossips)
What are your reviews on the casting of the film, Silsila? Let us know!