The actor was in an exclusive conversation with OTTplay on the occasion of Gadar: Ek Prem Katha’s re-release
Last Updated: 03.18 PM, Jun 09, 2023
Actor Vardhan Puri is the grandson of the (late) Amrish Puri, who is considered as one of the most dreaded but loved villains which Bollywood has ever seen. Today is indeed a big day for everyone associated with the 2001’s smash hit film ‘Gadar: Ek Prem Katha’. The reason? Well, today, the makers of the film have planned to re-release the epic film in 4K version.
OTTplay met up with actor Vardhan Puri for an exclusive conversation on the occasion of ‘Gadar: Ek Prem Katha’s re-release
Hi Vardhan! What does the very name ‘Gadar’ mean to you?
If one goes to see the literal meaning of ‘Gadar’, then it means mutiny. But for every film goer and every cinephile, ‘Gadar’ only and only means ‘Love From The Masses’.
How old were you when the film released?
I was very young and was still in school when the film released. But, I have crystal clear memories of the film.
Did you watch the film – ‘First Day, First Show’?
I had watched the film’s premiere. It was a special screening held for my family. And then I went again for the ‘First Day, First Show’ and also the last show. And I think I could have watched it even more. But in the daytime, I had school…which is why I could not go. But, ‘Gadar’ is a film which you can watch on repeat.
Can you please recall the film’s premiere?
The film's premiere was most amazing. I received a lot of love, lot of affection from Sunny Deol sir, who treated my grandfather like a father and always considered him a father figure. I got a lot of love from Anil Sharma ji and Ameesha ji. And I remember getting special love from Anand Bakshi saab and the great Uttam Singh ji. So, there was so much love and there was so much warmth in the atmosphere. I have very, very fond memories of that evening. I remember having a soft drink with the Sunny Deol sir. And he was being so kind to me, my sister Saatchi and all my cousins. It was definitely an evening to remember. My grandfather Amrish Puri ji had shared his feedback for the film with Anil Sharma Ji. And it was absolutely overwhelming.
Did you take anyone’s autographs during the film’s premiere?
I do not take autographs usually. I think it cuts me off from reality. So, I like to be in the moment. and I like to be soaking in all the love from people who mean something in society. I've always preferred having a photograph with the people I admire as opposed to autographs.
How would you describe your great (late) grandfather Amrish Puri’s role in the film ‘Gadar’?
I think my grandfather's role in the film is legendary. It's something he gets a lot of love for, worldwide. Not only Indians but people from all nationalities send so much love through fan mails, emails, gifts, bouquets of flowers for this movie. Recently, I had an interaction with one of my grandfather's fan clubs, in UAE, in Dubai. And when I saw them getting so emotional about the film, so affected by the film… I realized the magnanimity of his role. The reason for that is that he was not portrayed to be just a villain or an antagonist. He was also emotional about his daughter. He was emotional about his country Pakistan, and that is something which remained with the viewers. So, it was a very real, very palpable character.
If you were to describe your great (late) grandfather Shri Amrish Puri ji’s role in one word/ sentence, what will that be?
I had to describe his role in one word… I would call it ‘dynamic’. And I would like to also put light on one thing, which the great yash Chopra ji once told me. He said that the difference between a villain and an antagonist is that, the villain remains negative till the end of the film, but an antagonist changes and transforms at the end of the film. So, my grandfather played an amazing antagonist, which will always remain unforgettable in film history.
Where were you sitting during the film’s screening?
During the film's screening, I was sitting in between my grandfather and Sunny Deol sir. I remember Sunny Deol sir was so kind, that in the end of the film, when he saw me getting overwhelmed, he held my hand. And, he looked at me very lovingly with a smile.
Once the film ended, did you cry or smile?
When the film ended, I was smiling from ear to ear, extremely proud of the film, extremely moved, overwhelmed and excited about life. I also had a tremendous sense of patriotism running in my heart.
How does it feel to have the re-run of Gadar, and that too on 4K?
It feels amazing to be able to witness the rerun of colour in 4K, reimagined with Dolby Atmos. I cannot wait to watch the film today. Today is the film's premiere. I am going to be watching it with the cast and crew and my most loving family. We are going to be representing my grandfather there. And it's a very emotional moment for us.
What did you tell your grandfather Amrish Puri once the film ended?
When the film ended, I told my godfather that I loved him. And I'm extremely proud of him. I remember telling him that the film is a five-star film and it's going to do amazing business. And there were certain producers from Zee Studios. They were right next to me and they said, ‘If the child has said this, then, it will definitely happen”. That’s when Anil Sharma ji got a call from one of the theatre owners who said that, “The response to the film is overwhelming. I don’t have so many tickets to meet the demand from the cinegoers”.
How was your relationship with your grandfather Amrish Puri?
My relationship with my grandfather was extremely loving. He was very respectful and was never strict. He was very loving, but he was very stern.
What’s the one thing that you miss about him?
I miss his wet kisses that he used to plant on my cheeks. Every time he saw me, even if we met 10 times a day, there was a ritual that I had to touch his feet. He then, used to give me a warm bear hug and kiss both my cheeks with a lot of wetness. So, I missed that a lot. And I miss cuddling with him in bed and wrestling with him.
What’s the one thing that you want to tell him about you?
I want to tell him that I've learned so much from him. I am completely inspired by him. He is the greatest teacher I have ever had. And my life goal is to make him and my other grandparents extremely proud, by being a good human being and by working very hard and achieving my dharma. (smiles).