‘Hum angrezon ke zamane ke jailer hai’! This iconic dialogue from the 1975 action drama ‘Sholay’ is still remembered and much credit for it goes to ace comedian Asrani, who made it immortal. He spoofed Adolf Hitler in his inimitable style and the actor remembers how the dictator influenced his role.
Talking about his character, Asrani said: “When I was signed for the role of a jailer in ‘Sholay’, the screenwriting duo Salim-Javed and director Ramesh Sippy gave me a book about World War II in which there were 15-20 pictures of Adolf Hitler.”
Asrani, who’s now 82 years old, has appeared in numerous films and is known for his comedic roles in ‘Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar’, ‘Prem Nagar’, ‘Chupke Chupke’, ‘Chhoti Si Baat’, ‘Rafoo Chakkar’, ‘Balika Badhu’, ‘Fakira’ and ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’.
He became most popular, though, because of his character of the jailer in ‘Sholay’. He also played supporting roles in many films and appeared as lead actor in the 1977 film ‘Chala Murari Hero Banne’ and ‘Salaam Memsaab’, released in 1979. Both were directed by him.
He adds more about his popular character of the jailer, saying: “Not many people know this, but acting schools worldwide have Hitler’s voice recorded for training purposes. Hitler had such an influential voice that he could motivate the German army to sacrifice their life. I tried keeping the essence of Hitler alive in a comical way in ‘Sholay’ with my character of jailer.”
Asrani is appearing on the comedy-based reality series ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ along with Shakti Kapoor, Paintal, and Tiku Talsania.
‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ airs on Sony Entertainment Television.