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Monday, January 7, 2008

I don't want to waste Kangana

Anurag Basu whose achievements include defeating death (after a terminal illness) and making an absolutely original and exciting film like Gangster, is all set to direct a stark and real film called Suicide Bomber with his ex-mentor Mahesh Bhatt's son Rahul in the lead.

Speaking about his painful parting with the Bhatts, Anurag says, "My equation with Mahesh Bhatt Saab isn't what he shares with others who work with him. I never assisted him and I'm not related to him.

Bhatt Saab had seen my work on television and he gave me a break to make Saaya. There was a producer dormant in me all the time. With Metro I was on-line producer and executive producer with UTV.

This wasn't possible with the Bhatts. I was only a director there. Maybe in a couple of years I'll turn a full-fledged producer….Even now I consult him regularly on the phone."

Now Anurag is all set to direct another film for the Bhatts. " Suicide Bomber is a film based on true happenings in London during the subway bombings."

Launching Mahesh Bhatt's son (Pooja Bhatt's broether), it would be Anurag's most realistic film to date with newspaper headlines screaming in the background. He feels Rahul Bhatt is perfect as the Suicide Bomber.

"Bhatt Saab didn't force me to cast Rahul. We had thought of casting him in Murder and Gangster. But he wasn't suitable for those films. I love working with new actors.

I love moulding them to my own vision. With established actors you've to first make them unlearn then make them learn. My discovery Kangana had a great actor within her. I just helped her to bring it into the surface."

Would Kangana star in Suicide Bomber? "It's a hero-oriented subject. I don't want to waste Kangana. When I started writing Suicide Bomber I thought I'd do it myself.

But I realized all my knowledge of the London bombings was based on internet knowledge. I thought Mahesh Bhatt Saab would be far better able to handle the subject. He's doing the writing."

Metro was Anurag's episodic homage to that feeling called love. "Making Gangster wasn't an easy experience.. With Gangster, God seems to be giving me the courage and inspiration to do work I believe in.

He's making up for the pain he gave me. There're some episodes in Metro taken from my own experiences. One of the stories is from a play I used to do in college."

Since almost the entire industry wants to work with him now,how important are stars to Basu? "When I write a script I want to film it immediately. But it's not possible for stars to give you dates immediately.

That's how Shiney Ahuja came into Gangster. I has planned to cast Sanjay Dutt who didn't have the immediate dates. With Metro, I was lucky. Everyone I approached said yes. Everyone was finalized within a month."

Anurag cast his Gangster pair Shiney and Kangana first. "The rest of the cast just followed, Konkona being the last of the cast. It's a little tough to direct so many different actors.

However shooting wasn't as difficult as co-ordinating dates. We had a ball once the dates were in place. Fortunately no one except one actor had aproblem with the dates.."

Anurag had a problem with Irrfan Khan's dates. "He had to shift locations for that Daniel Pearl film he's doing with Brad Pitt.."

Now that the whole industry wants to work with Anurag whom would he like to work with? "Govinda," comes the prominent reply. "I think he's hugely talented."

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