The Chopra Empire: Yash Chopra, Pamela Chopra, Aditya Chopra & Uday Chopra

 

Yash Chopra passed away on the 21 of October 2012. He was hospitalized for dengue, but further complications led to pneumonia causing death. His last film, which was directed by him, will be released in November on Diwali. He is survived by his wife Pamela Chopra and sons Aditya Chopra and Uday Chopra. Born in 1932, Yash Chopra went on to live his life as the King of Romance. He is known as the director that made and encourage Indians to dream big, when it came to romance. The tradition of shooting romantic songs in Switzerland was started by him. Also started by him was the tradition of making Bollywood look even more beautiful by wearing chiffon saris.

I believe in my old style of making films. I think I have it in me to make a different film in my own area of romance. Films on human relationships never go out of fashion. Everyone says ‘I love you’ these days. But it’s about how you say it.

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Shah Rukh Khan & Yash Chopra

“I have always had great experience working with Shah Rukh Khan. He is one actor who has never asked me what the story is about, how much money he will charge… whatever amount I send him through cheque he takes that and rather asks me why I gave such a huge amount. He does not meet me before we start shooting, he says why to meet…I don’t want to know the story, don’t want to talk about money so why to meet. It is all because he has faith in me.” said Yash Chopra

 

At an event to commemorate his 80th birthday, Shah Rukh Khan interviewed Yash Chopra in front of family, friends and the media. It was then that Yash Chopra announced that ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ will be the last film that he will direct. In other words, he announced his retirement from the film industry. He said he will now concentrate on helping young minds make it to this industry.

I’m the sentimental sort. I cry easily. I cry when I see poignant films made by other directors.

 

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Before ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’, Yash Chopra directed ‘Veer-Zaara’. ‘Veer-Zaara’ went on to become one of the most iconic films of Bollywood. Not just ‘Veer-Zeera’, most of Yash Chopra’s directed films are known to be iconic films in this industry. He won so many awards and accolades for his work and other achievements in the film industry. ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ will sadly remain his last film and it’s even memorable as the film’s title couldn’t be more on the dot than ‘Jab Tak Hain Jaan’. ‘Jab Tak Hain Jaan’ stars Anushka Sharma, Katrina Kaif and Shah Rukh Khan.

What is the point of making the film if the man doesn’t marry the girl?

 

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Amitabh Bachchan & Yash Chopra

In his career that spanned more than five decades and 50 films, Yash Chopra is well-known for his movies with Amitabh Bachchan and more recently, Shah Rukh Khan. He was very close to the latter, so much that Shah Rukh considered him a father figure. Not just to Shah Rukh, Yash Chopra was one of the most loved men in Bollywood.

I’ve always worked with big stars, but they know that I am only honest to the script. It is my Gita and I never changed it to please film stars or their egos. We spend months in writing a film, so I wouldn’t like it if someone asks me to change it. That’s why I like to finish a film as fast as possible once I start. But as far as performances are concerned, I give full liberty to the artistes. I have full faith in them.

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Yash Chopra, Pamela Chopra, Asha Bhonsle & Padmini Kolhapur

These days, most films are sensible. The young whiz kids are doing a wonderful job. Their films are different, and most are good. A Wednesday (2008), for example, was a wonderful film. And that’s why we are taking a lot of chances at Yash Raj Films, by giving breaks to new actors, directors and musicians.

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Yash Chopra & Pamela Chopra

We’re making all kinds of films – English, Hinglish, sex, horror… this and that. It’s a healthy trend. But for a film to run it has to have Indian values. For a film to be a blockbuster it has to be rooted to our culture.

Yash Chopra was married to the love of his life, a lady who inspired his romance, Pamela Chopra. They were married for 42 years. Yash Chopra called her his ideal companion and mother to his kids. It was narrated by Yash Chopra that the first time he saw Pamela Chopra was at the wedding his niece in Delhi. His friend’s mother played the match-maker and asked Yash to either marry Pamela or die as a bachelor. Yash Chopra was 38 at that time, so he quickly took the chance.

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Yash Chopra, Pamela Chopra, Aditya Chopra & Rakhee Gulzar

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Aditya Chopra

The eldest son of Yash Chopra, Aditya Chopra too ventured into films like his father. Like his father too, he became a hit director. He started out on the film ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’, a film that became an iconic film in Bollywood. Till date, this film is still being played in a cinema in Mumbai. He prefered having Shah Rukh Khan in his directed films. Aditya was married to his high school sweetheart, Payal Chopra. They divorced several years later. For a few years now, Aditya has been seeing Rani Mukherjee, an actress who has worked with the Yash Raj banner for many years. Most importantly, Aditya Chopra is known to be very very reclusive and an introvert. He doesn’t like going out and he doesn’t like to be photographed.

 

You can always make a good film but for it to be successful, you need God’s blessing.

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Uday Chopra

The youngest son of Yash Chopra, Uday Chopra was born to be in this industry. Though many dislike the fact that he is in this industry because of his father, Uday went on to be an actor, director, producer and writer. He made his debut in his brother’s film ‘Mohabbatein’. Sadly, his acting career never quite took off with only the ‘Dhoom’ franchise being successful. He’s now the CEO of Yash Raj Entertainment (YRE). Uday is also the best friend of actor Hrithik Roshan, who has known him since they were kids. Uday Chopra is not married yet, though he was formerly engaged to Tanisha Mukherjee, Kajol’s sister.

I always believe that my films should give some hope to the man who comes to watch them for those three hours. If he goes home on an optimistic note, I would feel satisfied at having done my duty.

 

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Yash Chopra directed his first film at the age of 27 and his last film at 80

There was only a song left to shoot from his last directed film, ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’. The cast and crew including Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif were all supposed to go to Switzerland to shoot this song. Unfortunately because of contracting the dengue disease, Yash Chopra couldn’t make it. Till date, the song hasn’t been shot and it could probably be shot by his son Aditya Chopra or maybe it wouldn’t be shot at all! But one thing is for sure, ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ will be Yash Chopra’s biggest hit ever!

Films have been my only passion in life. I have always been proud of making films and will continue taking pride in all my films. I have never made a movie I have not believed in. However, though I love all my films, one tends to get attached to films that do well. But I do not have any regrets about making films that did not really do well at the box office.

 

Yash Chopra Facts

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He launched Yash Raj Films, with the box office hit Daag: A poem of Love, in 1973.

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Veer-Zara was originally going to be called ‘Yeh Kahaan Aa Gaye Hum’, after the song from Silsila, but Yash Chopra felt that ‘Veer-Zaara’ went better with the story of the film.

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His personal favourite directed movie was Lamhe starring Anil Kapoor and Sridevi.

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Yash Chopra had originally cast Smita Patil and Parveen Babi for Silsila (1981).

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Yash Chopra encouraged Javed Akhtar to take up lyric writing and thus he started his career as lyricist with Silsila.

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He decided to leave his brother’s studio to form Yash Raj Films after returning from his honeymoon. It is unclear what influenced him to do so.

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He has a habit of repeating his actors in his films and frequently casts Shashi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Waheeda Rehman, Rishi Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukerji.

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He has shot in Switzerland so many times that a lake in the Alpenrausch, a favourite shooting spot of his, has been christened Chopra Lake.

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