Guru Dutt wanted me to change my name: Waheeda Rehman

Guru Dutt was a perfectionist when it came to work, Ms. Rehman said.

Updated - November 17, 2021 12:26 am IST

Published - January 23, 2015 01:23 am IST - JAIPUR:

Veteran actor Waheeda Rehman in conversation with Nasreen Munni Kabir and Arshia Sattar at the Diggi Palace in Jaipur on Thursday.— PHOTO: ROHIT JAIN PARAS

Veteran actor Waheeda Rehman in conversation with Nasreen Munni Kabir and Arshia Sattar at the Diggi Palace in Jaipur on Thursday.— PHOTO: ROHIT JAIN PARAS

Yesteryear actor Waheeda Rehman continues to draw as much crowd, attention and admiration today as she did in her heydays.

Braving heavy rain and biting cold, thousands gathered at the ‘Mughal Tent’ on Thursday afternoon to catch a glimpse of the veteran who ruled Hindi cinema for several decades. Recalling her interaction with Guru Dutt when she was called from Chennai to Mumbai to sign C.I.D , Ms. Rehman said he wanted her to change her name which he felt was too long and lacked appeal. “He cited examples of Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and many others who had adopted a screen name. But he failed to convince me and finally had to give up,” she told the audience at a session “Mujhe Jeene Do: Conversation with Waheeda Rehman” at the eighth ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival.

“Guru Dutt must have been surprised, considering I was a minor. But yes, I was very stubborn and was hurt when he told me that my name was not good,” she said.

Guru Dutt was a perfectionist when it came to work, Ms. Rehman said. He was very hard to please and once shot a scene with Mala Sinha 76 times before approving it.

Comparatively, Satyajit Ray had clarity of thought. He knew how and where to edit a shot and so was flexible with his actors.

“He would often say Bangla movies are made on a small budget and he could not afford to waste his resources on re-takes.”

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