When do you start shooting for Bigg Boss, have you worked out a procedural strategy?
Next month. The parameters of the show remains the same. Me as a person might bring a different decorum to the show. Or so, the Channel(Colors) seems to think.They may be wrong. But I am not complaining(laughs)
What would you want the the contestants to take away from you, gyaan or friendship?
We all have to take away something to make it a wimning situation. So I guess I’d like to take some gyaan and the contestants may want to take away some friendship…..That’s what I hope to achieve. But you know what they say about the cup and the lip?
I tend to lean towards stature and demeanor akin to mine somewhat. Amitji is taller wiser and older, and in many ways.And I don’t just mean in terms of chronology and biological age.
Moving away from the politics of a game show. Tamil Nadu’s politics remains in a flux. What according to you ails the State’s politics post-Jayalalitha?
It remains chaotic and avaricous as always . As long as politics is considered as the best most lucrative business in the country, the situation will not change. We need administrative wizards not mal-appropriating charlatans masquerading as leader
There is a lot of speculation about Rajinikanthji joining politics. Do you think it’s a good idea?
Good idea, bad idea… who am I to decide? He and I never interfere in one another’s career decisions. Whether it is the choice of films, or politics, we don’t advise one another. Tamil politics is in such a state of flux.Anything is possible.Whether he joins politics or I, who can tell what will happen in the future?
What keeps you away from active politics?
It isn’t practised properly or decently. We’re responsible for that. . Change isn’t going to fall in our laps. To quote Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, be the change you want. If I join politics I would have to give up cinema completely . Like acting and direction, politics requires absolute concentration. I think I’m doing my bit by doing my chosen work properly and sincerely. If all of us did that, democracy would be on the road to recovery.
How do you rationalize the frenzied fusion of cinema and politics in Tamil Nadu?
It started with the DMK who wanted a propaganda tool. The worldover cinema has beeen used as one of the most powerful mediums of political propaganda. So why not Tamil Nadu? When C.N. Annadurai Saab incepted the DravidarKazhagam party, it was not a contesting party. Annadurai Saab was also a screenwriter. When he died Karunanidhi Saab was unanimously chosen as his undisputed successor. From then on, he has been a dominant factor in Tamil Nadu politics. His only rival was MGR whose personal charisma and political knowledge are legendary. After 1967, Tamil Nadu hasn’t seen a single non-cinema chief minister. Even N.T. Rama Rao in Andhra Pradesh saw the close link between cinema and politics through MGR. NTR played almost every role in Telugu cinema that MGR played in Tamil. Plus, NTR had the religious aura to his personality.
One hears of several Jayalalitha bio-pics being designed. Do yo think it’s a good idea? Would you be tempted to make one? If so, whom would you cast as Jayalalitha?
I don’t think it is a safe or a good idea. Besides, hasn’t Mani Ratnam done Iruvar?
How has the success of Baahubali impacted the South Indian film industry and Indian cinema on the whole?
The numbers prove there is more iceberg under this peak jutting out of this sea of deceit. The industry should take a deep breath before exploring it and not go breathless with euphoria. Success is not granted to those who stand in a queue waiting for their turn
Would you be tempted to return to Marudhanayagam in which you had visualized the epic scale of Baahubali 25 years ago?
I am most often tempted by offers and especially some admirers who still insist I should go at it
Are you keen on doing a film with Rajnikant?
It depends. He said if we do a film together he won’t direct it. It has to be either me or someone else. It would be quite interesting to do a film with him. At a function Rajni recalled an incident early in our careers when he was riding pillion on a mo’bike with me. When I sort of took a skid Rajni asked if I knew how to ride a mo’bike. I assured him even If I fell I wouldn’t let him fall. I was so touched when at the Thenali function Rajni said, ‘That’s what happened in our career. He never let me fall. In 1983 when I wanted to leave everything behind it was Kamal who cajoled me back to the material world.’ I guess we’ll do a film together. We’ve been talking about it for five years. We’re worried about the expectations.