In an interview with Siddharth Kannan, Zoya and Reema weighed in on where they stand in comparison to legendary screenwriters Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar, who was known as Salim-Javed. The ladies’ duo, who have co-written The Archies, and are busy promoting the film that marks the Bollywood debut of star kids Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor and Agastya Nanda. In an interview, Zoya said she could not be compared to her father, lyricist-writer Javed.
Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti on Salim-Javed
When asked if they were the ‘new-age Salim-Javed’, Zoya Akhtar said, “Nahi (no). I don’t think we are in any way close to what they did. They were very special. Unke pehle koi nahi aya, unke baad koi nahi ayega (There was no one before them and there will be no one after them). I don’t think we are any way close.”
Reema Kagti also added, “I agree with Zoya. The impact they (Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar) had and they still have. They are still out there, they have permeated popular culture, popular imagination, they have given exponentially more hits than anybody else.” To this, Zoya added they gave hits ‘in a pan-Indian way’.
Javed on why he stopped working with Salim
Javed Akhtar and Salim Khan worked as screenwriters in famous Hindi films such as Sholay, Don, Deewaar and Zanjeer, among many others. In an interview with BBC News Hindi earlier in 2023, Javed opened up and said after they ‘became successful’. Javed had said that once they became successful, their individual lives became bigger than their bond.
“In our struggling days, we were one team. We did not have any other friends, we would work together from morning till evening. We would even have meals together. Out of 24 hours, we would spend 15-16 hours with each other. But as we became successful, new people came into our lives and our friend circle got separated. The mental rapport we had was broken. We could no longer work as a team,” Javed Akhtar had said.