Home Tollywood News Cinema Gola Political News Hyderabad Mania
Custom Search

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I didn't treat Sonam badly: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Like all Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movies, nothing much is known about his next much awaited magnum opus Saawariya. The only known fact is that it is a movie about three generations.

He prefers not to discuss the story of the film. And why not? Farah Khan who locks horns with him with her Om Shanti Om (both the films release on November 9) has also not spilled the beans on the plot of her film.

But he is ready to answer almost everything else related to Saawariya and its actors. Read on for his replies to TWF correspondent Vickey Lalwani’s brave volley of questions

How did Saawariya originate?
After Black, I was restless. I was wondering what should I do now. I had worked with Amitji, Salman, SRK. I kept asking myself what I could do to challenge myself.

Then, I thought of doing a fresh, simple love story with newcomers- so that I would once again be on the toes. I decided to do something that would suit the legacy of Raj Kapoor and Nargis. I didn't want a family drama.

I wanted people who weren't bigger than the film. I wanted the sound of dialogue and colours to be different. It took me about a year to put the whole picture in mind of what I wanted.

Why Ranbir and Sonam?
When he was assisting me on Black, I told Ranbir that he was an actor. But somebody told me that he came to me with a design; he wanted me to notice him. Sonam was also assisting me in Black. One day, I told her that she is actress material.

She looked at herself and replied 'I am so huge and big. How can I become an actress?' That was an interesting acceptance from a person, and it impressed me. She was 90 kg then. Later, she went on a weight loss reduction mission. Both underwent vigorous training and then they were ready.

You are a hard task-master and you often lost your cool with them...
With Bachchan, SRK, Nana Patekar, Seema Biswas, one can't lose his cool because they deliver at that level. Add this to Madhuri Dixit, Rani Mukerji and Salman Khan, and you'll get the line up of actors I have worked with. I am used to that level of excellence.

Its' said Sonam broke down into tears when you reprimanded her?
It has been blown out of proportion. Sonam is like a child to me. That part of her life which she should have spent in college, she has spent with me. I wanted her to be the best.

Yes, she would cry if she was going through a certain moment where she wasn't getting it right. But then, we weren't in a school.

We had worked for one-and-half year before we got in the thick of things- so that was school time. But when so much money is involved, you have to be quick at times and deliver.

Did you treat Ranbir badly? Its' said that you threw food on the ground and ordered him to lick it (during the shooting of Black)?
Rot. How can I ask Prithiviraj Kapoor's grandson to do that? I am a civilized person. I wouldn't do that to my worst enemy. Ranbir is like my son. I want to meet this someone who is fabricating and spreading these stories.

Buzz is, you tend to become abusive on the sets if and when you lose your cool?
Listen, I want to ask you a question...

Why would Rishi, Neetu, Anil, Sunita allow their children to be treated badly by anybody? If it was happening, would they keep their hand on hand and keep silent about it? These parents are fit enough to give their kids as big as a launch as anybody else.

But so much has been written about you...
(Interrupts) The law of the press is simple. Favour the underdog and if he succeeds, then rip him apart. I think that I have answered your question.

Okay, but did you forbid Ranbir from occupying centrestage at Riddhima's wedding and attending parties, etc?
When you are doing your first film, I believe that you need to focus and be there completely for your film. Aap bahar jayenge, adulation mehsoos karenge, woh sab aapke dimaag ko asar karega.

Better agar aap time be spyenge aur apni script padenge. Discipline is true for any job. Agar maine aapko bola ki ek code of conduct operate karo, toh isme bura kya hai?

You wanted him to look lean, right?
Yeah. I didn't want him to look muscular. I told him not to concentrate on body-building. Actors carry dumb-bells on the sets. What has that got to do with acting?

Once you build that kind of muscular body, it even inhibits you from foraying into diverse characters. Can these muscular actors of today do Balraj Sahni's roles? Can they do a Devdas or a Saaransh or even Amol Patekar's role in Chhoti Si Baat?

If you are going to waste time in what you are wearing and how many extra inches you have in your arms, how can you concentrate and get into the skin of the character?

Do you think Ranbir has matched up to his father Rishi Kapoor?
He is outstanding in the film. I cannot tell his parents that he has bettered Rishi.

Why can't you tell them that?
Rishi and Neetu were my favourites. The entire Kapoor khandan will be proud of his performance. Nobody else could have done this role. I could have taken a set actor for this role, but I didn't want a set array of ex-pressions. Ek do film ke baad, Ranbir aur Sonam ke bhi ban jayenge.

But I wanted fresh ex-pressions (pauses)- because their characters are very well etched in terms of emotional equilibrium. As for Sonam, I would say that she has done exceptionally well.

What are Salman Khan and Rani Mukerji doing in the film?
They are acting in the film (laughs). As I told you, I don't want to divulge the story. If I tell you anything about Rani and Salman, it would be giving away a lot.

Don't you think that you have taken a big responsibility by launching Ranbir and Sonam?
Yes. I was very much aware of that. Ranbir came from a family which has excellence in not only acting but film-making. Sonam is the daughter of a fine actor. But I didn't keep it in my head, for then I would have got bogged down. So that's why, they had to go through some scoldings and firings.

Less than two months to go now. You have made big films and most of them were appreciated and won awards. Are you feeling the pressure?
I am not tense. I have done my best and will always work hard and try to main a high standard of film-making.

No comments:


Google Custom Search