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When Amitabh Bachchan felt threatened by Kamal Haasan's acting, decided to quit film: 'Can't risk career'

Veteran filmmaker K. Bhagyaraj has recalled an incident when Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan felt threatened by Kamal Haasan's acting. 

When Amitabh Bachchan felt threatened by Kamal Haasan's acting, decided to quit film: 'Can't risk career'
The old professional rivalry between Kamal Haasan and Amitabh Bachchan was revealed.

Last Updated: 12.35 PM, May 24, 2023


Tamil superstar Kamal Haasan, known for his prodigious talent, made his debut in the film industry at the tender age of less than five years. Since then, he has become an indispensable part of Indian cinema. Even at 68, he continues to be an acting powerhouse, giving younger stars a run for their money. In his youth, Kamal was even more ambitious, dynamic, and powerful, leading Amitabh Bachchan, the biggest star of the era, to feel insecure about his own acting abilities.

Earlier in an interview, veteran filmmaker K. Bhagyaraj revealed Amitabh Bachchan's decision to walk away from a film midway due to feeling overshadowed by Kamal Haasan's exceptional acting skills. Bhagyaraj's anecdote sheds light on the intense competition that existed between the two legendary actors.

Recalling the incident, Bhagyaraj revealed that Kamal and Amitabh were working together on a film directed by Ramanathan. The shooting had progressed to approximately 10,000 feet of footage when a crucial turning point in the story arose. Kamal's character had to die for the movie to conclude, and his remarkable performance was set to steal the spotlight. Concerned about being outperformed, Amitabh made the difficult decision to quit the film midway.

"Amitabh felt that if people perceived an actor from the South to have outshone him, it would harm his reputation as a skilled actor. He believed he couldn't risk his career for the sake of one film," Bhagyaraj recalled, shedding light on the insecurity that drove the iconic actor's decision.


Reports indicate that the shelved project revolved around the friendship between a terminally ill patient and a doctor. 

The incident serves as a testament to Kamal Haasan's exceptional acting prowess, leaving an indelible impression on his peers. Kamal continues to be a force to reckon with in the Indian film industry. He scored the biggest hit of his career spanning six decades with last year's action movie Vikram . Written and directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj, the movie went into gross over Rs 500 crore in ticket sales. 

Kamal is now busy shooting for Indian 2 . And he also has several projects in the works, including one with filmmaker Mani Ratnam. 

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