By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Thursday, October 05, 2006
With the amount of traveling you've been doing are you acquiring NRI status?
Oh God! I was in Toronto for the festival. I'm on the way to Germany for another festival. Before that I'm judging the Miss World contest in Poland. I come back and I go for another festival in Tokyo after Diwali where my film is in competition in the Winds Of Asia section. I feel Kabhi Alvidaa Naa Kehna has a huge international profile. I'm just making sure it reaches everywhere because it's taking not just my film but Bollywood to these far-off places. I think KANK addresses itself to Bollywood and the urban reality which is a new experience for international audiences. I think KANK has developed a cult following outside the country. I'm happy it has an energy that's keeping it alive. It's a film that will breathe even more freely in retrospect.
Where you disappointed by its performance at the Indian boxoffice?
I must confess I was. But it did more business than Kal Ho Na Ho all over India. I may have wanted the sun and moon with the stars. Maybe audiences were shocked with the content, or they didn't identify with the urban marital reality. Whatever the reason, yes it 's a disappointment in India. But overseas it my biggest film.
You were prepared for this.
I was . But I still wanted to be proven wrong. I wanted it to cross the collections of Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. But it didn't happen. But I got such wonderful reactions from all quarters. How many films manage to provoke so much debate? Wives are angry, husbands are horrified and I'm happy.
Care to share your Toronto experiences?
They called it Beatlemania-revisited. There were banners for Shah Rukh Khan and 'Sexy Sam' To have a 2000-member American-Canadian audience laughing and crying for KANK was quite an experience! And I saw Mira Nair's brilliant film Namesake in Toronto. Tabu is superb in it. I'll work with her at the earliest opportunity.
Ok, tell me why did you say no to judging both Jhalak Dikhla Jaa and Nach Baliye?
Well, Jhalak is a Sony show. And I had contractual issues with Star. As for Nach Baliye I already had Koffee With Karan on Star. To do two TV shows required more hours than I had at my disposal. I already have a large production house to look after, and I have to divide my time between making movies and these extra-curricular activities.
What do you think of the two shows?
They're both great shows, and I'd have loved to be part of them.
And now Koffee With Karan Returns..
I loved the first season. And I'm looking forward to the second season. I start shooting in November and we should be on air in December or January.
A glimpse into the guest list?
Well, they are all the people that occurred in the first season, there's no getting away from the crème de la crème. They make interesting conversation. People love listening to them. You know it. You interview them every other day. Plus there would be some new guests too.
Like Mallika Sherwat?
Hmm...There will be lots of film people. But this time I'll combine them with industrialists, sports personalities and other professionals rather than their colleagues from Bollywood. I want to keep it chatty , catty and conversational . For a long time we debated on whether we should record the interviews in front of a live audience. But I thought the lucidity of the lounge -chat would be lost in the crowd. I want viewers to enjoy the voyeuristic voyage of rediscovering their favourite stars . We're even changing the look of the set completely.
Director, Actor, Producer, Model...
I love every role. I unabashedly enjoy my multiple roles and the fact that I can make my movies, stand behind and in front of the camera. And most of all I love the fact that people come up to me and connect with me. It was childhood dream to be known. At 14 I was fat and frumpy and I hoped I'd be someone. I had aspirations to be a journalist. I just wanted to see my byline in the papers.
Don't you think you're too gregarious at times?
I cannot put on a brooding intensity just to look like a serious film-maker. I love the attention. To hell with the privacy. I was born to be in showbiz . I love the fact that I can host a talk show, endorse a product and make movies. I love my life.
You mean my next film? People ask me if I'm going back to feel-good cinema. But in my head I was never doing the same thing, feel-good or whatever, in my films. With KANK I didn't mean to do something path-breaking. If you ask me, Rang De Basanti attempted something path-breaking. The Oscar nomination is totally deserved. Imagine mixing Bhagat Singh with contemporary issues. Sheer genius! I've never put across a single thought on cinema as brave as Rang De... KANK was brave, but not brave enough. To be braver in my next film I've to feel the need for it. I can't just do it for the sake of it. I believed in KANK. Whether you like it or not is your prerogative. But I felt marriage as an institution was being misused. And I wanted to take a look at that. My job is done.
What about your soonapan of being single?
I love the fact that I'm single. I've my mother. She's my Miss World. Who needs another woman in my life? Why be married when I can be happy?