When Prem Chopra recalled govt warning against too many rape scenes in movies, what he did when actress refused to kiss

Prem Chopra worked in hundreds of movies throughout his career and got infamous for usually playing a baddie. When not wrestling with the hero, Prem was often seen eyeing the hero’s girlfriend, sister or wife. Prem has shot multiple rape scenes too featuring some of the biggest female actors of the time and he once said that no one had anything but good things to say about his professionalism. (Also read: Prem Chopra on turning 86: At this age, I don’t want to step outside unnecessary)

In his biography Prem Naam Hai Mera, Prem Chopra by Rakita Nanda, the actor spoke in detail about shooting rape scenes and the few bad episodes he’d had. Recalling one such incident when a heroine refused to kiss him, he narrated, “There was this top heroine who was having an affair with a top hero. A shot required me to kiss her and initially she was willing. However, her lover happened to be on the sets when we were ready to shoot and he kept signalling to her not to comply. So whenever I came close to her face she would turn away. This went on, take after take, until I mock-shouted, ‘What the hell! We villains get thrown off cliffs, get shot by kids and beaten up by all the heroes. At least we should be able to enjoy small benefits.’ It made light of the moment. Finally the shot was taken and the director heaved a sigh of relief.”

But Prem maintained that often, the act of rape was not shown on film. It was conveyed through sound effect, intense music, cutaways to a locked door or to the moment after. He, however, added that so many producers had started packing rape scenes in their films without need that the government had to intervene.

“Do you think I actually like doing all these dirty things on screen? No, I do not! Violence and sex may be phases of the contemporary scene but I am totally against glorifying violence or dishing out sex as a box office booster. By the mid-1970s, film producers had already been told by the government to reduce violence and rape scenes. Even the films that were already on the floor had to conform by the new directive from the centre,” he said in the book.

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