In the beginning credits of his recent release Gangs of Wasseypur, Anurag Kashyap dedicates his film to South director Bala, famous for making Vikram and Surya huge stars down south. Now the filmmaker has gone one step further and is helping Bala promote his upcoming Tamil film in North India. In a candid chat, Kashyap talks about how Bala has inspired his filmmaking and also meeting Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg, on his recent visit to the city.
Why back a Tamil film suddenly?
If you have seen Gangs Of Wasseypure, in the beginning credit I have dedicated my film to Bala. He is a very rooted person and elusive too. I like the way Bala depicts his subjects. He has a strong hold on he audience, so much so that he does not need to even promote his films. I thought it would be a good idea to show a film like this (Paradesi) to the viewers in the North. Hence my decision to back it.
Do you believe that remakes can bring some good South films to Bollywood?
No, I have never done any remakes and will not do them in future too. Here people just want to make remakes of blockbuster hits. You will see people doing action stunts by flying in the air. However there are some very interesting films that are being made by very talented directors. I want to invite them to remake their South films themselves for the Bollywood audience, especially by calling people like Vetrimaaran and Bala. They are my biggest inspiration.
You’ve become quite a godfather to some filmmakers. How do you decide which films to back?
I share my thoughts on my micro blogging site. The day I start taking second opinions, I will never be able to make any films. I feel the Tamil and the Marathi industry are making some of the finest films at the moment and we should definitely back them. I have done my first Marathi film Vakratunda Mahakaaya as well as the Bengali film Tasher Desh. There are a lot of skilled people like Umesh Kulkarni or Girish Kulkarni who need to be simply encouraged. I am a complete film bug.
How’s your project with Amitabh Bachchan coming up?
I have just wrapped up Ugly. I don’t want to reveal much about this film at the moment. I have also done Bombay Talkies with Bachchan and it will release in May. After completing Bombay Velvet, I will begin work with him again. The script is under process and I am yet to lock the rest of the cast.
You were one of the lucky few to meet Steven Spielberg.
He is the best example of humbleness. We all have a certain chip on our shoulders but he is such a great director and he was so down to earth. I was heartbroken when he laughed off several incidents from a book based on him. I actually used to consider it as my Bible. I wanted to ask him a couple of other questions too but that was not the right platform. Later I also felt very embarrassed when the rest of my contemporary directors made references to me while posing their questions. I wanted to disappear from the scene, as I just didn’t know what to say. It is my dream to make films without actually putting myself in public view… something like Mr India!