Dev Anand till his last days remained unputdownable. Our correspondent had caught up with him some time back when Dev Saab was making his last film CHARGE SHEET. Excerpts of that interview
Tell us about CHARGE SHEET? Are you directing the film? It's a murder story. I have written the script, am directing CHARGESHEET, producing it, performing the central role...it's my film...it's in my system. The film has three of very important actors. I am also introducing three-four newcomers, who, I think will become big stars in future.
How do you manage to multi-task while making a film? Writing, directing, producing and playing the hero simultaneously is surely not easy? No, that's easy for me. That way I control the film in my palms. I make my films with a very positive mind. I make films that should be made for the world. I make it with total conviction.
Playing a lead at 87 will surely make today's heroes insecure... How can you say that? In fact, I, as the hero of CHARGE SHEET, am competing with them. Competition is everywhere.
Throughout your career, you have launched a number of new faces in Bollywood. What are the criteria that you look for in a new actor before casting him/her? If I see a new face...I will keep on looking at him/her and think if he/she fits my script. Then, I will go and talk to that person (but, not about casting). If he/she has a right mindset, I will include the newcomer in my film.
You don't usually cast big stars in prominent roles in your films? Why? I made a film with Aamir Khan in AWWAL NUMBER and after that, I never approached any star. Once I thought of casting stars in my film, but then didn't do, thinking their dates may not be available. I don't want to get a 'No'.
In an awards function, filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra said you are the biggest 'Idiot' of Bollywood- who has always done, and still does what he wants to, what he dreams about. So, have you lived all your dreams? Dreams should never die. When the dreams are dead, you are dead. After fulfilling every dream, I realize there is a new dream that dawns. I used to dream about the Hollywood people...my inspiration is Hollywood in 1950s.
What if you are to pick your favourites from your own films? GUIDE has been acclaimed very well, so was HARE RAMA HARE KRISHNA. There's DES PARDES, HUM DONO ...that is coloured now. There are many others.
Do you support remaking of Hindi classic films like GUIDE? No...don't do it; because it's so wonderful, it has lived in the hearts of the people so well that people will not accept anything else. In 2008, I was in Cannes and they showed GUIDE with French subtitles. You should have seen the expression of European audience...they found it absolutely mind-blowing. I enjoyed watching GUIDE with them as much as I did in Delhi in 1965.
What motivates you to work so hard even today? I want to take the world with me. Absolutely that's the way I feel and that's why I am living. And there's no business like show business....it's beautiful.