Posts Tagged ‘Indu Mirani’
By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 04, 2009)
Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year star Ranbir Kapoor, director Shimit Amin and writer Jaideep Sahni get together to answer a rapid fire round related to sales and marketing.
Before Indu Mirani and Namrata Bhawnani test their sales IQ, they emphatically state that Ranbir’s role of a Sardar is not an ‘item’ in the film and it is not because playing a Sardar is the in thing. Ranbir adds that though the year has been exceptionally kind to him, this is the one film he is really proud of.
|l-r: Jaideep Sahni, Ranbir Kapoor and Shimit Amin
(pic: rana chakraborty)
Name one person who has the best assets
• Ranbir- Yash Chopra and Adi Chopra have YRF which is the best asset. It’s a great endeavour, great body of work.
• Jaideep- I can’t really judge.
• Shimit- Actually I am pretty much clueless about these things.
One person who has the best marketing skills
• Ranbir- Shah Rukh Khan
• Jaideep- ummmm… yeah pretty much, Shah Rukh Khan
• Shimit- Shah Rukh Khan
One person in the industry who needs marketing tips
• Ranbir- Shimit (laughs)
• Jaideep- Shimit
• Shimit- Yeah, me I guess. (All three laugh)
One of the best marketed films in recent times?
• Ranbir- Rocket Singh- Salesman of the year
• Jaideep- I think Ghajini and Om Shanti Om
• Shimit- Paranormal
One of the worst marketed films in recent times?
• Ranbir- Can I also say Rocket Singh – Salesman of the year (laughs)
• Jaideep- Yeah, Rocket Singh – Salesman of the year
• Shimit- Rocket Singh – Salesman of the year (laughs)
A sales tip to convince the ladies
• Ranbir- I don’t think you need sales tips to make it work with the ladies. It’s basically about howmuch of your honesty comes through when you sell the product. You woo a woman with honesty and truth.
• Jaideep- More empathy, less smartness.
• Shimit- No clue.
One line to describe your USP
• Ranbir- I really really love the movies and I love the fact that I am a part of the industry.
• Jaideep- I guess I want to learn.
• Shimit- Love working with people who are more talented than I am.
One partnership that sells really well
• Ranbir- Shimit and Jaideep
• Jaideep- Salim Javed
• Shimit- Salim Javed works really well for me.
One defective piece in the industry
• Ranbir- I don’t mean to belittle anyone but I think it’s sometimes the stories in a film. Sometimes they take the audience for granted. When I go to a film, I expect something. When that is missing it is a big defect.
• Jaideep- I think investment in writing and writers. That’s coming from the same thing that Ranbir pointed out.
• Shimit- Yeah, I think writing.
One person who deserves to be returned to the shelf
• Ranbir- That’s really mean. No one should be returned to the shelf especially in the field of art. Age has nothing to do with it. It depends upon the timing and the kind of work one is doing. Depends upon the kind of opportunities one gets. So I don’t think anyone is defective. It’s the work they did that was defective but they as artistes are not defective.
• Jaideep- I agree. I think artistes are not defective. Actually if you trace back opportunities they get or circumstances they are in that is what is defective. No artiste deserves to be put on the shelf.
• Shimit- I think this whole system of rating actors is a little inhumane. People have their times and we all know that.
Posted November 5, 2009on:
• How much of the real Ranbir do we know?
Probably 30 per cent. And that too from the films I do because it’s only then that I actually give something of myself to the character. But when I am doing interviews, there is a certain amount of a façade. If you are an introvert or shy like me, you need to exude some confidence, some belief in what you are doing. But honestly, I am scared. I am not that confident an actor to believe and think that everything I do will be a success. I believe, the remaining 70 per cent will eventually come through when I reach a point where I can really surrender to a character. I hope that role turns up some day. As I keep saying, I am very ambitious. I have lots of directors to work with, lots of roles to play. I hope to be a working actor everyday of my life, to be able to go on a set. I really don’t know what to do with my time when I am not on set.
Probably 30 per cent. And that too from the films I do because it’s only then that I actually give something of myself to the character. But when I am doing interviews, there is a certain amount of a façade. If you are an introvert or shy like me, you need to exude some confidence, some belief in what you are doing. But honestly, I am scared. I am not that confident an actor to believe and think that everything I do will be a success.
I believe, the remaining 70 per cent will eventually come through when I reach a point where I can really surrender to a character. I hope that role turns up some day. As I keep saying, I am very ambitious. I have lots of directors to work with, lots of roles to play. I hope to be a working actor everyday of my life, to be able to go on a set. I really don’t know what to do with my time when I am not on set.
// • When you are not on your Segway that is…
(laughs) I do that every night. It’s my way of letting go. I know it sounds weird and stupid but it’s kind of spiritual. I do it at 2-2.30 in the night. The roads are empty, the weather is great and you just drive through.
• A girl who has worked with you, describes you as a mixture of the three Khans. A bad boy like Salman, charmer like Shah Rukh and focused like Aamir.
That girl might be drunk or on some drug because I am not even close to any of these characteristics. The three Khans are living legends for me. Even using my name in the same sentence as theirs is an insult to them.
• So you are saying that you are not a bad boy, charming or focused?
(blushing wildly) Actually I am. But I guess to a much milder degree.
• So what is your charm?
I am just a happy person, I like talking to people who interest me. You just have to listen to people, I guess that’s what charm is. It’s not about corny lines, it’s not about the looks that you give somebody. It’s only about the attitude to and the conversations that you have with somebody.
• Which Kapoor do you resemble as an actor?
As an actor, nobody. My grandfather, Raj Kapoor, was a stylised actor. I have always preferred him more as a director than an actor. Of course, though he was an amazing actor, his directorial abilities blew me away. Shammi Kapoor again had his own style. Shashi Kapoor had his own style. My father has always been a natural actor. So thankfully, I was never compared because you cannot compare natural acting. I would like to believe I have my own style and I am a natural too. I have my own good and bad qualities and I hope it remains like this. I anyway have the baggage of a lineage. If my acting reminded people of actors who they have worshipped earlier, I don’t think anybody would want to see me at all.
• But you do want to direct at some point of time?
Yes, I do but it’s an immature dream. It is something I aspire to do one day. I am extremely passionate about movies, but right now I need to solidify my career as an actor. I need some bonafide blockbusters, I need people to have faith in me so that banks can give me money to make movies.
• For a 27-year-old boy, you keep an extremely neat room. How come?
I am basically neat. I don’t like chaos, I can’t work like that. I like silence, I like loneliness. I like everything which is soft. I think because of my docile nature, it reflects in the environment I live in.
• Even in your work?
Yes, of course, it just causes less confusion. But where my acting process is concerned, I am not bothered. I could be doing a scene in front of ten thousand people on the road, they could be loud and passing remarks, but it wouldn’t affect me. But I guess when the camera is rolling, you just change as a person.
• Do you seek characters that are different from you as a person?
Not at all. An actor can only wish that these roles come to him. You can’t seek them. If I am not excited by a character, I can say no, irrespective of who the director or production house is. I need to connect with the characters I am playing.
• One hears you were often beaten up by the principal in school?
My principal used to beat me up because I was very naughty in school. I used to do things which I should not have done as a student. I didn’t do it because I was somebody’s son. It was pure masti.
• You were shy and naughty? That’s a strange combination.
I think I am just a confused soul. Confused, complicated and a bit complex. I am often told that. I think I am an amalgamation of everything.
• And docile too?
That’s what I believe and that’s what my mother believes. I am just a calm soul.
• Have you ever rebelled?
Not majorly, but I do believe that I have a rebel in me. I really don’t like to be told what to do.
• You are most written about for your affairs…
It really hurts me that my affairs are being written about. I am suddenly acquiring this new image. It is not me. I have been in very few relationships in my life. Few have worked, few haven’t. And I am extremely sad about the ones which haven’t worked. I am not this lover boy, people think I am. The character I did in Bachna Ae Haseeno is not me. I am quite a romantic at heart, but at the same time, being in a relationship or being with a girl is not my priority. I do believe there are great things in store for me. I need to believe that if I need to move ahead. Women are lovely. I love and respect them, but that’s not my true calling in life. My true calling is cinema and acting.
Five films I can see again and againnd again:
1. Shree 420
2. Kaagaz Ke Phool
3. Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
4. Sanjay Bhansali’s Devdas
5. Andaaz Apna Apna
Six books that I can read again:
1. Songs That My Mother taught me by Marlon Brando
2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon
3. Dreams from My Father – A story of race and inheritance by Barack Obama
4. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
5. Ingrid Bergman’s autobiography
6. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. It is cinematic in its writing. I could actually smell the kebabs in Afghanistan.
Six people whose lives I want to see chronicled in pictures:
1. Charlie Chaplin
2. Raj Kapoor
3. Michael Jackson
4. Amitabh Bachchan
5. Sachin Tendulkar
6. Lata Mangeshkar
Five songs always on my Ipod:
I can think of just one… Kisi ki muskuraahaton pe ho nisaar
Ritesh Deshmukh has worked his way up slowly from a five-hero film, to four, three, two and now as a solo hero. He has impressed everyone with his comic timing and hopes to continue to do so with a fantasy (Aladin), a serious film (Rann) and a romance (Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai)
•What gives you a high? When a family member wins an election or when you have a film doing well?
• If you had three wishes, what would they be?
If I have a lamp that Amitabh Bachchan comes out of as a genie, I don’t think I want anything else. That itself is worth three wishes.
If I have a lamp that Amitabh Bachchan comes out of as a genie, I don’t think I want anything else. That itself is worth three wishes.
• Will you ever play a woman again as you so successfully did in Apna Sapna…
• Your successes have largely been as a comic actor. Did you find comedy or did comedy find you?
What happened is that a few comedies that I did worked and then only comedies came my way. But, after doing comedies I have become funny in real life too. I’ve enjoyed doing them. And it’s even more enjoyable when people like your work. It’s like a pat on the back. But then there’s also a fear of overdoing it and it’s important to realise when you’ve crossed the line. When I read a comic script, I know that these are the scenes where I am supposed to ham and so I see to it that in a scene before and a scene after I underplay it.
• What do you mean when you say that after doing comedies, you have become funny in real life?
Actually, the basic core of me is very shy, because that’s how I’ve been brought up. I was so shy, I didn’t speak to a single girl all through my school days. So at birthday parties at home, there would be only boys. We’re only three brothers. So the thought of a girl coming home was very odd. No one ever told us, it was all in our head. In college, I used to like this girl and I never had the courage to go up to her and tell her that I liked her. And by the time I decided to do that, she had already started seeing someone else. But I was just happy with the idea of being in love with her.
When I went to architecture college, probably because there were 28 women and 16 boys, and a lot of group projects, I really opened up as a person. I was funny in bits but I didn’t have the courage to just go up on stage and say something funny. But when you become an actor, you become shameless. And to be a good actor, you need to be very shameless. You really need to do anything and everything. That shattered all my inhibitions.
To have come from there and worked in so many comedies, I now know exactly how comedies work. I know exactly when to put in a punchline, which words to stress to make people laugh. And I think that eventually helped me in my personal life.
• Do you feel like an outsider in the film industry?
For the first two years, I didn’t feel like a part of the industry in my own head. I had not achieved anything. It was not about how people reacted to me. It was about my own achievements. It was only after Masti was successful, Kya Kool Hai Hum and Bluffmaster worked and just before Heyy Babyy, Dhammal, and Apna Sapna Money Money, that I felt that I was a decent actor and could find my foothold in the industry. Then I stopped feeling like an outsider.
• You’ve always been a big fan of SRK. If offered, which of his films would you do for free?
I would do a film for free, if he were in the film. I really don’t care what films he’s done because those films are not special without SRK. If I were to do those films, they wouldn’t be that great.
• Is Genelia the woman in your life?
Not again! I am single. I am not seeing Genelia. We go back seven years, ever since we started working together. I’m glad to have a great friendship with her, she’s a wonderful person. The sad part is that sometimes you start pulling back from a friendship because people are talking. But as an actor, you learn to live with it.
• Are you looking for love?
I am not exactly looking for love. Love is something that everyone wants, everyone needs, and love is most welcome. But it’s not necessary that if I find love, I’ll talk about it. I see couples out there holding hands, and it’s really great. Many-a-times, I wish I had that courage.
|• Say something Munnabhaiesque
No tension. Apun hai na. (laughs)• When making Lage Raho Munnabhai did the success of Munnabhai MBBS put any pressure on you and is a similar pressure delaying the next in the Munnabhai series?
We (Vinod Chopra and me) are not trying to cash in on the success of the two Munnabhai films. If we were doing that then we would make one Munnabhai every year. We would have Munnabhai cartoons, comics and animation. We could actually milk the brand in that sense. The reason for not actually making another one is because I am working on the script and I am not happy with the final script which is also what happened with Lage Raho Munnabhai. I took so many years to make it because I wasn’t too happy with it.
You have to strive to think of a unique idea and sometimes, for that, you have to keep waiting till it strikes you. With Munnabhai Chale Amrika, I have reached a stage where I have found a completely unique idea. It is not a ‘fish out of water’ situation in which two characters go from this world to that world. That’s done to death. It’s not as simplistic as that. It’s much funnier and much deeper.
• How does a comic scene evolve?
It’s not about evolving a comic scene or a dramatic scene. You just do whatever the story needs. I work with Abhijat Joshi and we completely go by the gut feel of the scene. If it is a comic scene and when I am narrating, we look into each other’s eyes and if it makes us laugh, then that is a scene that is working. And when it is an emotional scene, our eyes get wet. So it’s completely from within, rather than structuring it, or trying to manipulate it.
• You have worked with an intelligent actor like Aamir Khan (3 Idiots) and a less structured actor like Sanjay Dutt. How is your approach different with actors?
Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) is completely an instinctive actor. If I ask him for a rehearsal, he will look into my eyes and say “What? You want to rehearse one month in advance?” which is completely impossible. And I know if I make him do that, he will come prepared and will fail miserably. But if I ask him to do something impromptu, he does it the way you want it. If I think it’s not right, then he will instinctively do it another way. Then there is Boman Irani, who, if I don’t rehearse with, will die on the sets. So he has to be prepared a month in advance. Like when he was playing Lucky Singh, I had to take him to meet some Sardarjis, he had to sit with them, he had to drink with them, he had to observe them, video shoot them. Arshad was completely given the lines, he got the gist and modified them. If I tell him to follow the lines as given, he will not be able to do so. So with every actor, you have to realise his strength and utilise it. Like Aamir loves to get involved with the script, he analyses the script, he prepares a lot. There is a completely different joy in working with Aamir.
But that’s the job of a director. When you work with Boman, as you enter the set, you have to go to his van and hold his hand and talk to him for 10-15 minutes every day, otherwise he feels neglected. I may not do the same with Aamir. I know he has rehearsed and understood the script and he will come on the sets and perform. Actually direction is also about human resource management.
• What happens when there are three very individualistic people like you, Vinod Chopra (as producer) and Aamir Khan involved with a film. Do sparks fly?
• How true are you keeping 3 Idiots to the book by Chetan Bhagat Five Point Someone?
3 Idiots is inspired from the book but it is completely different. I would say just five per cent of it is the same. Books and films are different. So the moment you decide to pick up a book and make a film as it is, it will be a disaster. It’s a nice book, but it’s anecdotal and films can’t be anecdotal. It has to have a story. The reason I mention this is because people should not go to the theatre thinking, we are going to watch Five Point Someone and later find out that it’s a completely different film.
• When you get stuck with your writing, what do you reference for inspiration?
Raju Hirani’s favourite five films
1)Pyaasa. It’s one of Guru Dutt’s finest works.
2) Anand for the kind of story that it is – a dying man still trying to live a great life.
3) One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is one of my favourite films. I love stories where you fight against the system for your rights. That’s what came through in Munnabhai too.
4) Amol Palekar’s Golmaal. It’s a funny film. The whole idea of making a film revolving around a moustache is a unique idea.
5) Lagaan again for its unique idea. For me Lagaan fits the bill of, theoretically speaking, a perfect script.
Salman Khan rarely weighs what he speaks, which, on one hand is an endearing trait but on the other hand gets him into trouble all the time. Not that he particularly cares either way.
In a role reversal of sorts on Tuesday, Salman grilled me and a couple of other journalists for Bollywood Face-Off, a show that will be shown exclusively on Zoom TV soon, and among the many things he spoke about was Shah Rukh Khan.
Salman observed, “What Shah Rukh does or says is not of the least interest to me but he is one of the most insecure actors. If he could get rid of that he would actually be a nice fellow. When we were all starting out in our careers, and were in the Rs 4 to 5 lakh bracket, we were friends. As we became more and more famous, he grew more insecure.”
Earlier, on the show he blamed the media for the quick turnover of girlfriends some actors have (read himself). “Two people may have just begun dating, they need time to know one another, to understand one another and you people start writing that they are in a relationship. That puts an awful amount of pressure on them and they are almost forced to get into a relationship,” he ranted.
Then he added, “When they find they are not terribly compatible and don’t want to take the relationship further, you people say, he is changing girlfriends all the time.” Huh?
When asked how he was uniformly cordial with his visitors on the television show he does for another channel, responding smilingly to intrusive questions about girlfriends and marriage while the same from a media person would elicit nothing but a growl, he explained, “The difference is intention. They are being nice, you people want to corner me and get me to say something provocative.”
Really Salman, and we thought that you did that without any prompting.
|• When did you first become aware that you were Amitabh Bachchan’s son?
From as early as I can remember because for us at home it was never like, “I am Amitabh Bachchan’s son”. He was always ‘Pa’ for us. That’s something my mother always made sure of. I was never led to believe that I was the son of this great actor and so I was special.• Did you ever resent being Amitabh Bachchan’s son?
Never never… and I don’t think that will ever happen because I thank god everyday that I have been born into the family that I am born into and that I have the loving parents I have.
• Did you ever want to be anything other than an actor?
• What about acting comes easily to you?
I don’t know what comes most easily to me. Maybe just the acceptance of the environment because this is the world I grew up in, this is the world I know.
• And what is difficult?
• How do you overcome such moments?
• Do you find yourself referencing your dad?
• Did you ever watch any Rajesh Khanna films?
• In retrospect, how do you react to the flak your wedding invitee list got?
What flak? That was created by the media. I was switched off it. It was my once-in-a-lifetime wedding. I didn’t want anything to alter what I felt at that time period of time. I had no idea what was going on outside my gates. For me I was going to get married to the person I loved and that was going to be my favourite memory. I don’t pay heed to these kinds of things. Do I make a big deal about the invitation list? No. I don’t expect to be invited anywhere and I don’t think anybody said, ‘Oh, I should have been invited.’ Nobody said that to me. If they have a problem they come and talk to me and I will tell them the reasons behind it. The people invited were just very close friends and family. People tend to forget I had an ailing grandmother in the hospital and it was a conscious decision on the part of the family to keep the celebrations to a minimum. I would have loved to call the entire film fraternity. Yes this is where I work, these are my people. Could I? No, and I think people should respect that and if they don’t, then, it’s their problem.
• How did you deal with the 17 failures you had at the beginning of your career?
• Was it difficult?
By the grace of God, I have a wonderful family. I was never made to look like an underachiever or a loser. They are very supportive and always encouraging, that is not to say that they are blindly supportive. If they saw a film of mine which didn’t like they would say so and tell me how to improve. They never said, ‘Oh, you are hopeless. Forget it!’ There was a point in time when I thought that about myself because when you repeatedly fail and that too on public platform and you are humiliated on a public platform, Friday to Friday, after a period of time, your zest, your confidence goes flying out of the window and you start believing it. When you have 15-16 flops in a row, common sense kicks in, saying ‘Wait a second, obviously you don’t know anything, you are doing something wrong and maybe you shouldn’t be doing this.’ I had no confidence. I couldn’t go out in public because I genuinely believed that I had failed. Then I went up to my father and said, ‘I think, I have made a mistake and I have paid for it dearly and maybe I am not meant to be actor.’ He said, “I have not brought you up to be a quitter, I have brought you up to be fighter. Keep at it. I am telling you, I am going to be your biggest critic. I am telling you that you are improving with film after film. Do whatever you get. Whatever role, small role, big role, just do it. Spend time in front of the camera so that you get the opportunity to improve and eventually prove your worth.’ And that’s what I did. I dived into work, whatever I got, I did, and thankfully after a while they started accepting me.
• How important is marriage?
• And kids?
• Are you part of Dhoom 3?
• For years numerologists said you should drop your surname and you resisted. Do you feel vindicated now?
• Kareena has said that she has always had space in her heart for you…
• So will you work with her?