Director Nikkhil Advani’s film D-Day completes 8 years of its release on Monday. The film featured late actors Rishi Kapoor and Irrfan Khan along with Arjun Rampal, Huma Qureshi and Shruti Haasan. The film, which was received well at the box office, is special for more than one reason. D-Day marked the only film that saw Irrfan and Rishi sharing the screen space. Unfortunately, Bollywood lost both the actors to cancer in 2020.
D-Day saw Irrfan playing an undercover RAW agent while Rishi played a don. In a conversation with film critic Rajeev Masand, director Nikkhil Advani spoke about working with the two legends in his 2013 spy thriller. He had revealed that Rishi Kapoor had complained about Irrfan to him.
“When they came together, Rishi Kapoor had heard that Irrfan Khan is this great actor. So he wanted to see it and fortunately for me, they were doing this one scene where Irrfan decided to improvise. And Irrfan never ever gives the same cue again. So Rishi Kapoor called me and said, ‘Usko samjhao, usko acting nahi aati hai (Talk to him, he doesn’t know acting). He has to hit his cue otherwise I will not know how to do and what to say.’ So I explained to him and said ‘Sir you don’t have to worry. You start speaking whenever you want to speak, don’t worry about him.’ They were just very different but they were very special. The film has become even more special for me now,” said the director.
He also remembered an incident about how Irrfan Khan convinced Rishi Kapoor to spend a night in the Kutch desert with the promise of ‘chicken jungli and alcohol.’
“We were shooting in the desert and while Irrfan and a lot of team bunked out in tents, Chintuji would drive two hours back to the hotel. He was averse to early morning shoots, but there was this sunrise shot we had to shoot with him and he was refusing to comply, saying, ‘I am an actor, not a doodhwala.’ Irrfan finally managed to convince him to spend the night in the desert with us with the promise of Chicken Jungli and alcohol. It was a near-impossible feat in Kutch, but he delivered his promise and I got my shot,” Nikkhil told Mid-Day.
Nikkhil had earlier admitted that Rishi Kapoor‘s role as Rauf Lala in Agneepath made him believe that the actor can pull of the character of Goldman. “Rauf Lala in Agneepath made me believe that Rishi Kapoor was my Goldman (his character in ‘D-Day’). I had to convince him after a look test, which was done a couple of months before shooting started,” he said as reported by News18.
Last year, the filmmaker shared the clip featuring Rishi Kapoor and Irrfan Khan from D-Day, which went viral on social media. Irrfan and Rishi passed away within a day of each other. Nikkhil wrote, “Never did any of us ever think that this picture would get used the way it has. The film that changed my life funnily will be remembered for such a different reason now.”