March 15, 2010 (Calcutta Tube): Bollywood actor and filmmaker Saurabh Shukla talks about the upcoming movie Lahore, his future plans and more. Read the interview at Calcutta Tube.
Saurabh tell JYOTHI VENKATESH that If he had said no to Danny Boyle when he offered him the role because he had felt that it was a small role, he would not have got his US visa for ten years, after he acted in Slumdog Millionaire.
Since you have quite a few films as a director, we presumed that you have stopped taking up acting offers!
I was last seen directing the Rajat Kapoor-Neha Dhupia starrer Raat Gayi Baat Gayi but have not stopped acting, just because I am getting quite a few offers to direct films on my own merit. You will see me as an actor now in Lahore, directed by debut making Sanjay Pooransingh Chauhan. I have a very interesting role in the film.
Since you sound quite excited about the role, tell us something about it?
Yes. I am quite excited about my role in Lahore. The role that I am essaying in Sanjay Puran Singh’s Lahore per se is not big in terms of its length but I decided to take up the offer when Sanjay offered me the role because I liked the subject when he narrated to me a one line
Can you elucidate more about your role in the film?
I play the role of Madhav Suri, who defines the bureaucracy of the sports department and the way everything gets mutilated beyond recognition in sports by the intrusion of bureaucrats. I play the role of an official of sports in the film. I act like a bridge in the film which is about kickboxing as a sport. In the film, I give up kickboxing in order to be the official.
What made you decide to be a part of the project?
I wanted to be a part of the project because the reason to choose a role as far I am concerned has changed. My approach to a role as an actor has undergone a dramatic change in terms of perception now because I am also a director on my own right.
What is the USP of the film Lahore?
Lahore is very interesting and gripping. There have been many films which have been made with sports as the backdrop but I would say that Lahore is different as far as its treatment is concerned. The film has a very international feel to it. If you remember, I and Irffan Khan also had similar screen time in Slumdog Millionaire. If I had said no to Danny Boyle when he offered me the role because I felt that it was a small role, I would not have got my US visa for ten years, after acting in Slumdog Millionaire.
How was the experience of working in Slumdog Millionaire with a director like Danny Boyle?
Working in Slumdog Millionaire, with a director of the stature of Danny Boyle was indeed a great experience by itself for me as an actor. I feel that as an actor, the length of a role is not at all important. In Slumdog Millionaire, even the role of the protagonist was divided by three. Like me and Irrfan, Anil Kapoor had also similar screen frame in the film. What I feel is important is how important your role in a film is and in what way does your role contribute to the progression of the subject.
After Lahore, which are your forthcoming films as an actor?
As an actor, I have films like Peter Gaya Kaam Se, Vicky Chopra’s Season’s Greetings and Sudhir Mishra’s Dil Darbadar, Pathshaala and Coffee Shop. In Peter Gaya Kaam Se, I play the interesting role of a bar owner, who is also involved in drugs too. In Season’s Greetings, I play the role of a desperate director who hits the rock bottom, when he sets out to make a film. In fact, Season’s Greetings is an interesting compilation of five different short stories. In Dil Darbadar, I play the role of a power broker in Delhi who is in constant touch with all the politicians and handles their black money.
Tell us about your roles in films like Paathshaala and coffee Shop!
My roles in films like Coffee Shop and Pathshaala are also equally interesting for me as an actor. While in Coffee Shop, I have a substantial role of an art collector, who is also a Don, who ends up killing if an artiste does not agree to part with his painting to him on demand, in choreographer turned director Ahmed Khan’s film Paathshaala, directed by Milind Ukey, I play the role of an antagonist, who is a traitor in the school.
Which are your future projects, as a director?
After Raat Gayi Baat Gayi, you will now be able to see me once again as a director in films like Love Teda Meda and I am 24. Though I am not acting in Love Teda Meda, I cast myself in a small cameo role in I am 24, because I did not have money to cast Vinay Pathak to do me a favour and act in the film. (laughs)