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I don’t care who likes me: Ram Gopal Varma

Ram Gopal Varma is all set for the third part of his Sarkarsaga, featuring Amitabh Bachchan in the lead. For the prolific filmmaker these last few years have been a trying time. With all his Hindi films performing badly at theboxoffice Varma had to shift base to Hyderabad where he made a slew of Telugu films. He is back Mumbai all set to storm the boxoffice with the Sarkar franchise. RGV spoke to Subhash K Jha

Why Sarkar 3 at this stage of your career?

The point of continuing any franchise is only when the characters create an impact and Mr.Bachchan did that so powerfully in Sarkar.Amitji and I were discussing ideas on how we should make Sarkar 3 since a few years and we both were clear that we won’t attempt it unless we are extremely sure we can better what has been already done in Sarkar in 2005 and Sarkar Raj (2) in 2008 .So to get the absolutley right content was the reason for the delay

How different would he be in Sarkar 3?

The last time I saw Amitji in an angry man’s role was only in Sarkar 10 years ago and I designed that character from the angry image he derived from his portrayal in iconic films like Zanjeer, Deewar  and Bemisal.In Sarkar my ambition is to portray him as being angrier than ever and that ofcourse for highly valid reasons

What do you think of some of the recent films that Mr Bachchan has done, like Shamitabh, Teen and Wazir?

Though I myself have created some complacent ,soft characters for him in  in Rann, Nishabd , etc  I generally do not like to see him playing an ordinary man .Of course they were great performances but my problem is that I want to see him larger than life

How do you plan to  present Mr Bachchan in the sequel to the sequel to ensure a uniqueness and novelty in looks and emotions?

More than anything else his character will have a very powerful screen presence along with his trademark intimidating stares, shriveling scowls  and highly memorable one-liners ,which is  the tradition of Sarkar.

Tell us about Sarkar 3’s plot, How would it move forward from Sarkar 2?

It’s too early to reveal the plot of Sarkar 3 but it will be much bigger in its scale and scope than the earlier two Sarkar films.

Who else have you cast in the film?

There are a lot of characters in the film and the cast details will be shared soon.

What do you feel about the changes in the Hindi film industry during the  last few years while you were busy in Hyderabad?

Changes happen every Friday and they will keep happening and people will keep adapting to the changes and as long as people keep adapting changes won’t matter

A lot of studios and corporate houses are apparently shutting down in Bollywood . Do you see a crisis looming in the Hindi film industry?

I have been hearing about film industry’s crises ever since I first came in to the industry but the number of films being made kept on going up irrespective of the crises.After all this exaggerated hullabaloo about various corporates shutting down, my prediction is that there will be more number of films made now compared to last year.

What is your opinion on the current war between Ajay Devgn and KRK?

I didn’t hear anything about that.What Happened?

Nothing, they had a party together?

Oh, hope they had fun.

 Why did you take  a long break from Mumbai?

I wanted to take a break from Bollywood  and re-group my thoughts.I couldn’t do soul searching because I don’t have a soul so I just settled down to take a long hard look at the way I used to think  .

Why do you think all your recent Hindi films failed?

Many people believe that the reasons for my flops are that I do too many films and too fast but that’s not the truth.I took the maximum number of days to shoot and spent the maximum money on Department and Aagand they are my biggest flops .On the other hand Satya was shot on a shoe-string budget and Sarkar I finished in 30 days.So it’s not the money or time but it’s the wrong content which determines a film’s failure .

What according to you was the reason for your downfall?

I think it’s mainly my arrogance which was the main reason for my flops .I was always a kind of a wild horse ,very impulsive and fast. Both my path-breaking films and my crazy out-of-control films also were a result of that.If I try to control my wildness I am sure I will lose my uniqueness and so I just worked towards steering my thoughts instead of stopping them.

What were you doing in these two years away from Mumbai?

I finished 6 scripts in these two years, to the extent of making a complete production breakdown of each of them.I also watched hundreds of films, specially Hollywood and foreign cinema to kind of rejuvenate myself .

Your obsession with anti-social behavior continues in Veerappan?

Yes. I also deeply studied various dramatic real life situations and met many criminals and other larger than life characters to fill in that part of my creative need of psychoanalyzing them to create characters away from my regular stereotypes

Did you miss your colleagues in Bollywood  while you were away? Where you in touch with any of them?

I never was really a social person and I never have friends but whatever little contacts I used to maintain I didn’t keep in touch with them too .I sincerely wanted both Bollywood  and me to be rid of each other for a while.I hope this distance will make both of us a little more understanding of each other.

I hope Karan Johar is reading this?

I realised now after coming back that I very much love both Bollywood  and Karan Johar and I hope that they both will at least like me a little.Jokes apart I don’t care who likes me because I only care about who and what I like and I do like Karan Johar

What prompted you to return to Mumbai? And that too with such a bang?

I wanted to come back only after I was pretty sure of what I want to do.Armed with my understanding of the mistakes caused by my arrogance and my overconfidence I now came back to gloriously wage war with my inglorious past

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