"We worked together in just one film, and what a storehouse of memories that turned out be!" Sanjay Leela Bhansali tells Subhash K Jha, referring to the late Vikram Gokhale in their 1999 blockbuster film, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.
"If I had the chance to turn back the clock, I would like to work with Vikram Gokhaleji in as many of my films as possible, if not all."
In the film, Vikram Gokhale played a Hindustani classical singer and guru.
"Every actor prepares. But Vikram Gokhale was a professional on another level," Bhansali adds.
"He could actually feel like a musician. His body language, his voice, his command over the sur was that of a real musician."
Gokhale played Aishwarya Rai's father and Salman Khan's guru in the film.
"All of us had a fabulous time shooting. Vikramji was always a part of our group sessions," Bhansali remembers.
"Actors like Vikram Gokhale are very rare. He never seemed to act. He used his exceptional skills not to show off, but to disappear into his characters."