"I don't know about Ash but Omi is great"

May 27, 2009


Your latest film Angels & Demons has got itself into a bit of a budge with the Vatican. How much of the raised eyebrows are according to you, justifiable?
Well you see….it’s really detrimental for such things to happen. I sympathize with those who have been entitling to Angels and Demons on frivolous grounds. Controversies are like superfluous vermin and that needs to be flushed out.
People are free to give their estimation on every concern and I really accept their points. But authentically speaking all this hooplah has blown out of fraction by the media across the globe and I feel neither the reasons of people nor their vague indulgent of such an intellectual subject can ever be justified.Guys….it’s just an illusory narrative so let it be. I fail to comprehend as to why is everyone running behind it to ruin it of its beauty and elegance and wasting their time and energy.

In India we have a whole small-scale industry of protestors who often object to films without seeing them. Is such extraneous intervention annoying to you as an artiste who has given a year or more to the work?
Yes, it prejudices sometimes. Protesting for no grounds is only done by monotonous and juvenile people most of the times. We never intend to craft confrontation and hurt religious sentiments in any country.
We as artists only want our viewers’ true feedback coz it makes us to further improve upon our work. By protesting and that too without watching a film is not justified. I feel it’s just like fulfilling someone’s vested interest to create a bad name for such a nice movie.I believe for every stroke, there has to be some ground. So if people are protesting against our film then they should also endow us with valid reason as there have been times when in spite of tumult the flicks have done a mammoth job at the theatres.

Do controversies sell tickets at the theatres?
Not all the times…as all good movies succeed on their story line, actors and their acting only my friend. Controversies’ life is very diminutive and they can’t gasp for very long…they just raise eyebrows for some time.

Going back, I find your career to be carpeted with astonishing work. How do you choose your projects? Or do the projects choose you?
Firstly, thank you so much gentleman. I am really touched by this gesture of yours. Look, there is no explicit loom that I follow to conjure a genre, as I opt for only those projects that entreaties me after reading the script. As an actor I follow a dynamic approach.
You see there are basically just a few things that I am mindful of while signing a movie project; firstly… the script must excite me; the role must be good; the director must be someone who I feel is competent and who I can communicate with and who can bring that extra zeal to the movie; and yes, it must have a strong producer. And nothing much (laughs).

You are not particularly prolific. And yet when you do a film it more often than not, more than just plain entertainment. Is cinema a tool for social reform for you?
Of-course I am…I like being creative too.. and after all every movie is stirred from the deeds that take place in our lives. I always try to lay across the vital proposal behind the film to my viewers.
My approach has always been to reach out to my spectators irrespective of whether they are from the slums or the metros. I act in films for all of them and try to forfeit their issues.

I regard Philadelphia and Forrest Gump followed by the really tough Castaway as your best work. Which are your favorites and why?
Hey…how can I pick the best among them as all of them are like my brood? I am enchanted with all of them as they are equally precious to me. But I would Da Vinci Code has matured me enough to tackle the cold & hot battles.

Angels & Demons is your first sequel. Ever thought of doing a sequel to Forrest Gump?
No, the idea of this movie was originated from the studio and the director himself…I just participated in it. I don't plan much and believe in crossing the bridge when I may reach there.
On a lighter note I don’t try to storm my brain with too many thoughts and tons of toil and probably if ever this thought crosses my mind I would let it rest in peace. However Angels & Demons is the prequel to Da Vinci Code.But yeah, for me it’s a sequel.

How familiar are you with Bollywood? Have you seen any Bollywood films? Are you familiar with Bollywood icons like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Aishwarya Rai?
A little. Have heard few name. But I know of Omi, or you guys call him Om Puri, I guess. We worked together in Charlie Wilson’s War. He played a Pakistani President- Zia Haq or something like that, couldn’t recall properly.. But what a character man. Omi is a fabulous actor, I must say.

After Slumdog Millionaire are you tempted to shoot a film in India?
It depends…If my director or producer is happy to shoot there then why won’t I be? Ha ha. Asian cinema has been delivering a certain aesthetic to its audience very successfully for years and I can say it with utter buoyancy and avowal.

On a more personal note, how easy/difficult is it to remain faithful to your spouse in an industry where temptations stalk your 24/7?
I don’t know…Well all I know is about me and my wife Rita. I love her and she loves me too and we trust each other. Trust is the wall of every relationship. The wall breaks, so does the relationship. 

Source : SantaBanta.Com