Has Sunil decided not to act in his future home-productions?

By Manisha Deshpande
11/8/2004 12:00:00 AM
Actor Suniel Shetty's  decision not to act in his next home-production in association with Ashtavinayak Entertainment, may extend to his other future projects as well. "It is a conscious decision that I have made of not taking up any role in Popcorn productions, starting with this film. I would rather act in other films and concentrate on the production of my films, which is far less strenuous", Suniel  stated in an exclusive interview. "When you are acting in the film, you are caught up in a process where you end up playing mediator between the director and the artistes, when there is tension on the sets. It is better being a producer and taking decisions strictly as a producer", he added. 

According to Suniel, even the role he played in RAKHT was more out of compulsion than choice. "I took it up at the last moment because there did not seem any plausible actor around for that role", he said.

Besides his decision not to act in his films, Suniel has also decided to go slow on the production front presumably due to the losses he suffered in the last two films, which met with a dud response at the box-office. "I have definitely become cautious. After the film with Priyadarshan, there is only one other film in the offing, which I am planning to launch by the end of next year. I want to play safe when it comes to choosing scripts for Popcorn Motion Pictures, but this is only for the time being. After two years, Popcorn will be back on the production front in a big way", he says.

However he does not attribute the failure of his productions to their script or content. "I don't think it has anything to do with their content, the fact is that 95 percent of Bollywood productions have been reeling under failure this year. It is not just Popcorn, several producers have had to face losses this year. Even the distributors don't show the business of films properly. The whole system is jacked by insurmountable problems, be it distribution set-up, release timings, problems of piracy or other such problems. We should have a clamp on piracy like the Malyali film industry where a law of two-year imprisonment for piracy, has hiked the business by 75 percent', he said.

He is now looking forward to his next production in association with Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Pvt Ltd., which he describes as a very happening company. "I think the man at the helm of affairs in Ashtavinayak, knows the game of marketing and production. He stood by me like a lion when a supposedly big man in the industry let me down during the release of RAKHT. I will never forget this gesture of his", recalls an emotional Sunil, preferring not to talk further about the whole experience.

As of now though, he is looking forward to his forthcoming two releases, PADMASHREE LALOO PRASAD YADAV and HULCHUL. "Both the films are comedies and I thoroughly enjoyed doing them. The former is a crazy comedy that has nothing to do with Laloo-ji though his appearance in the film is definitely an USP for it, while the latter is a comedy laced with a lot of emotion where the audiences will laugh and cry.' But he is particularly vocal about the close bonding he shares with director Priyadarshan. "I think he's a brilliant human being besides being a great director in his own right. HULCHUL is my fourth film with him and I intend to continue working with him forever", He smiles, adding that he is quite contented with the way his career is going at the moment. "I have been around for almost 15 years now and I have seen a lot of failure in the last 2-3 years of my career but that hasn't really made a difference. I have maintained my dignity and self-respect under trying circumstances. I still have the best of production houses backing me whether it is Feroz Nadiadwalla or Venus and of course partners like Ashtavinayak who are ready to stand by me through thick and thin. What more can one ask for", he quips with a smile.