It's not always that superstar Kamaal Haasan talks about his personal choices. But he did this time, when he came to promote the Hindi version of his Tamil magnum opus DASAVATHARAM. In conversation with Kamaal Haasan.
DASAVATHARAM took one-and-a-half years to shoot and the Hindi version took almost one year to release. Is that what you call magnum opus? (Laughs) You are right! See, a film like DASAVATHARAM is very difficult for me, especially when you are playing all 10 characters. It's like going back to a film school. We shot for 200 odd days, of which only 50 days I was a normal person. That is, 150 odd days of make-up, dialogues and acting. Trust me, it wasn't fun while it was now, but now seeing the audience reaction, I know, it was worthy. The Tamil version was released June 2008. At that time only we were ready with the Hindi version. But the delay in release was entirely the director's decision.
You have played two characters at the same time in HINDUSTANI and APPU RAJA. How was it playing 10 characters? Ten times difficult! I wanted to do a remake of Sivaji sahab's (GANESAN) NAVARATRI, which was already done in Hindi by Haribhai (Sanjeev Kumar) as NAYA DIN NAYI RAAT, where they play nine characters at the same time. But then, thought why not make something new.
'There is no normal day in my life...l'
Of all the ten characters, which one is closest to your heart? I love my 11th character...that's the role of screenwriter for this film.
You have Asin and Mallika Sherawat in the film. How was it working with them? They have both done their parts. Asin is the heroine, Mallika has a small role in the film. But unfortunately, we were all so busy shooting that didn't even get time to enjoy their company like you are thinking.
What are your future projects? I am planning to direct a film for my own company....I am writing the script at the moment. It will be released in Tamil and Hindi. As soon as I decide on the title and the cast, we will start shooting for it. Then, I am doing the Tamil and Telegu versions of A WEDNESDAY. While I will play the role of aam admi, Mohanlal, will play the role of the police commissioner.
What is a normal day in your life like? There is no normal day in my life...either I am shooting, or promoting my film, or writing scripts...it's too busy to be called 'normal'.
Having such a busy life, how do you keep yourself going? Well, never thought about that. But I guess that will be a long, long story.
What do you do when at home? I am a complete movie buff and when I get a chance to stay at home I just watch films non-stop.
What kind of films you love to watch? All kinds of films.
Are you a foodie? Ji?
Do you love eating? Yes...who doesn't? I enjoy any kind of well-cooked food.
Are there any unfulfilled desires? Many...it will take an hour just to list them.
What is your opinion about the ongoing producers-multiplex debate? I am not qualified enough to comment on that. As an actor, I only know about filmmaking and direction. But for the business part, I am not competent enough.
With the Lok Sabha elections round the corner, let's ask you a political question. Sure...go ahead.
Will you join politics? Never. I know politics just as much as you and other people of the country do. And before you ask, I won't even campaign for any party ever.
Are you expecting an Oscar for DASAVATHARAM like SLUMDOG MILLIONARE? I am expecting none, because this is an Indian film and Oscars are awards given to American films.
So, you are expecting Indian awards? I don't mind...there are ten characters in the film...at least one should be good enough for an award. (Laughs)
Your elder daughter Shruti is all set to debut in Hindi film LUCK. Does she take acting tips from you? Shruti is a sensible girl and since childhood she does everything with a little bit of intelligence. I am sure she will apply this quality to her acting career as well.