Two superstars, who gave 16 hits together, vowed never to work with each other, have not co-starred in 40 years as...

Two superstars, who were great friends, did 16 hits together, before vowing to never work together. Here's what happened

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Two superstars, who gave 16 hits together, vowed never to work with each other, have not co-starred in 40 years as...
Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth with Sridevi in Moondru Mudichu

The year was 1975. K Balanchander was making a film on relationships titled Apoorva Raagangal. While the film starred Srividya, Jayasudha, and Sundarrajan, the focus on a 20-year-old child star-turned-lead actor Kamal Haasan, who was one of the leads. In a supporting role, Balachander cast a new actor, once a bus conductor. His name was Sivaji Rao Gaekwad. But the world would soon know him as Rajinikanth. This was the beginning of a legendary on-screen partnership between two future legends, but one that would end abruptly.

Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth’s films together

Rajinikanth began as a villain in Balachander’s films before moving to play grey-shade protagonists in films like Billa and Mullum Malarum. By 1980, Rajini had established himself as a lead actor of note and Kamal was already being hailed as the biggest star in Tamil cinema. Despite the suggested rivalry, the two collaborated on a number of films like Saranam Ayyappa, Agni Satchi, Uruvavugal Maralam, and Thillu Mullu. In 1985, they did their first and only Hindi film together. Titled Geraftaar, the film also starred Amitabh Bachchan, making it one of the biggest films of the year. But this was the last time Rajini and Kamal co-starred in a film.

Why Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan decided never to work together again

Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan were in their early 30s in 1985 and both were embarking on a phase of superstardom unseen in Tamil cinema prior to that. But then, they decided to go separate ways and Kamal says the decision was mutual and cordial. In an interview with Indian Express, the star once revealed that the two stars decided to have separate paths in their careers as they realised they could maximise producers’ earnings by appearing solo. “We did several films together and the decided not to work together again. We are not rivals or competitors,” he had said.


Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth’s dominance in Tamil cinema

Through the 80s and 90s, Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan ruled Tamil cinema with several all-time blockbusters. As the millennium turned, both saw a phase where their films stopped working at the box office. However, in mid-2000s, both made splendid comebacks – Rajini with Chandramukhi and Kamal with Dasavatharam. Both gave pan-India hits in the 2010s and even after entering their 70s, they continue to churn out blockbusters such as Vikram, Jailer, and Kalki 2898 AD.

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