Boney Kapoor, the husband of the late icon Sridevi who died in Dubai on Saturday night due to accidental drowning as per local forensic reports, is a prolific Bollywood producer who poured his money into more than 20 Hindi films in a career spanning three decades.
Belonging to a film family, the son of late producer Surinder Kapoor, who made his production debut in 1980, has a career catalogue with a mix of blockbusters and duds. The 63-year-old filmmaker’s biggest productions include Mr India with Anil Kapoor and his late wife; Wanted with A-lister Salman Khan; while his flops include Roop Ki Raani … Choron Ka Raja and Tevar with his son Arjun Kapoor.
Kapoor made no secret of preferring to work with his family members, which included Sridevi and his siblings, Anil Kapoor and Sanjay Kapoor. Clearly this firebrand producer, who had an unassuming air about him, didn’t give two hoots about the burning topic of Bollywood being eroded by nepotism.
In a sit-down interview in June last year with Gulf News tabloid!, Kapoor had jokingly said that it’s easier to access his own family members than stars from the talent pool outside.
“Anil was the most easily accessible star at home, so why not? Mom is my third film with my wife and there’s a definite comfort level... They have suited the parts too,” said Kapoor.
Known for his flashy entertainers, Kapoor — a Punjabi by birth — has had his hand on the pulse of an average Bollywood movie-goers’ taste.
“I never had a preconceived notion about what I should do or what I should take up... I am not that intelligent. I am like a common man who is dictated by what I like and I sometimes feel that if something [is] good, I should produce it... Aks was my first film that I distributed, it wasn’t a mainstream film but I loved what I saw in it... There are no fixed notions on what I should pick up or follow. It has to first appeal to me,” said Kapoor in that interview.
While he was a consummate producer, his personal life was relatively fractured. Kapoor was married to the late Mona Shourie in 1983 and had two children from his first marriage. However, their marriage was marred by rumours of an alleged affair with his then-colleague Sridevi. Film folklore has it that when he approached Sridevi’s mother for a film as a producer (back in the day, an actress’ mother doubled up as her publicist), he was at his generous best. He topped up her acting fee so that she would jump aboard his film. The colleagues became man and wife in 1996, when they wed despite reported objections from his own family.
During our interview, he didn’t seem to hide his reflected pride for Sridevi. In several other interviews in the past, he had openly declared his admiration for his wife.
“Imagine an actor who started working at the age of four and it is her 50th year of her professional career. Her focus is still the same. When we call [Mom] her 300th film, it could be more. Her mother who used to manage her career is no more, so there is no proper record, but I have put numbers together. She is unmatched and there’s no one like her — it is a fact. I can watch her 24/7,” he said.