Acting is all about appearing realistic, even if it's unreal. The more real a scene looks, the more we buy into it as an audience. Rarely, do we think about what goes into making a film look real. Sometimes actors even have to put their lives on the line to make a scene come alive.
In Sholay which was India's ode to the Wild Wild West genre, was all swagger. With all the gunfire and quick chases, it's expected people would have gotten hurt in the process. But, in one of the scenes where the actors used real bullets, it got a little too real for Amitabh Bachchan when Dharmendra nearly shot his co-star.
Amitabh Bachchan nearly lost his life on the sets of Sholay
Sholay was a masterclass in filmmaking and action, directed by Ramesh Sippy. The 1975 film acquired such a following, that it was touted as one India's best films on offering from Bollywood. Starring Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Amjad Khan, Hema Malini, Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bachchan, the film won a place in the hearts of the people and was a huge commercial success at the box office.
A lot went into the making of the film as well. With the power-packed action sequences, there was no way the journey of making the film didn't take its toll on the actors at some point. Usually, films use fake guns and fake bullets, but to make the film appear realistic, the makers employed real bullets and guns.
There's a scene where Jai saves Veeru and Basanti, in the scene while escaping Veeru grabs a gun and then opens a box and fills his pockets with bullets. The box contained real bullets. After many retakes, Dharmendra who played Veeru couldn't open the box despite kicking it many times. The actor began getting impatient. According to reports, when he was finally able to open the box instead of putting the bullets into his pockets, he loaded the gun and fired the gun as well.
The crew and actors were afraid by the sudden turn of events as Amitabh Bachchan who was standing opposite to Dharmendra at a distance. They were concerned whether Dharmendra had accidentally shot Amitabh. Luckily the bullets had missed the actor. Even Dharmendra was shocked by his own actions and apologised to Amitabh and the director. Clearly, the shooting was just as action-packed as the end product.