Wait, did you think in all the preparation for Salman I would have forgotten him? Never! Oh, and also Christmas. But even Jesus’ birthday can’t distract me from celebrating Anil! 57 today, and I am doing 25 reasons I love him, for the age he was when he got married.
1.1. I love you for coming from a film family who is and is not connected. Distantly related to the Kapoor-Kapoors, not enough to get a big launch, but enough to get your father a job as a secretary to Geeta Bali (Shammi’s wife).
2. I love you because, thanks to that distant connection, you made your film debut at age 13 in an unreleased Shashi Kapoor film.
3. I love you because you bounced around the film industries of India for 5 years before finally making it big, including a Kannada film with Mani Ratnam and a Hindi film opposite Naseeruddin Shah.
4. I love you because your big break out film was directed by Yash Chopra, just like Amitabh and Deewar, and Shahrukh and Darr.
5. I love you because your break out role, as a “Tapoori”, started a new trend towards the unshaven look and slang talk in Hindi film.
6. Let’s take a look at that break out film!
7. You finally broke out of the Tapori mold with Mr. India! Which is also probably the most important film you have ever been in. At least until Mr. India 2 comes out (please please please please please!)
8. And then you ended the 80s on a high note with Parinda (this song is SO BEAUTIFUL).
9. Tezaab, which finally let Madhuri hit it big after her soft launch.
10. And finally Ram-Lakhan, which introduced your trademark song!
11. As important as your film successes in the 80s, your marriage! You got married back in 1984, to a costume designer (must be where Sonam gets it). Which means you got married before you hit it big, but after you knew you wanted to be an actor. Gutsy!
12. Also in the 80s, fatherhood! Sonam came first in 1985, then Rhea in 1987, and finally Harshvardhan in 1990.
13. And the 90s started off with Lamhe, in which I love you for taking the biggest risk of your career; No mustache!
14. I also love you for generally doing a really good job with Lamhe, even though it was an incredibly risky plot.
15. And I love you for regularly working with your producer brother Boney, building a modest little “other Kapoor” dynasty of your own.
16. Speaking of Boney, let’s look at his biggest flop, Roop Ki Rani Charon Ki Raja.
17. But it wasn’t all bad, Loafer was a hit!
18. And then there was Judaai where you had the enviable role of the man torn between Urmila Matondkar and Sridevi.
19. You really kind of specialized in songs with sexy ladies dancing at you. Like this one, one of my all time favorites from Rishtey, in which your reaction shots really make the song.
20. Or with Preity in this one from Armaan.
21. I love you because of how timeless you are, lasting from the 80s through the 90s with hardly a change in your onscreen persona.
22. I love you for how classily you handled your place as India’s first crossover star. Enjoying your time overseas, but never putting it ahead of your position at home. And looking at it from a producer perspective, not just actor, buying the rights to the 24 TV show.
23. I love you for how you have slowly started to move from movie star to other ventures, starring in your own hit TV show, producing more and more films, and helping in the launch of your children.
24. I love how supportive you are of your children, especially your daughters, taking pleasure in their business success.
25. And finally, I love you because, when asked about some filmi divorce (I can’t remember which one), your response was “I’m VERY optimistic!” Which has become my catch all cheer up phrase any time I feel down, just picture your big smiling face and your big happy voice saying “I’m VERY optimistic!”
BONUS REASON: You have the most amazing chest hair in the industry. Possibly tied with Akshay Kumar.