You are working with both Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan. How would you describe both of them as actors?
Amit Ji (Amitabh Bachchan) dominates every frame he is in, effortlessly. His persona and charisma are larger-than-life even today. He doesn’t even have to try too hard because the moment he faces the camera, everything else fades into oblivion. Abhishek, on the other hand, is someone who intentionally underplays his star power and charisma. He likes to become a part of the story rather than become the story. He is a very intentional actor and also very subtle.
You have been part of this industry for a long time now. How would you describe your journey so far?
It has been educative, rewarding, and exciting because every day you learn something new, form new collaborative relationships, discover new stories, find fresh inspiration, and fall in love with cinema all over again. I have seen the industry evolve through many challenges and survive it all. Be it the advent of satellite TV, OTT platforms, piracy, or the pandemic, we have found new ways to go on and I feel privileged to belong to this fraternity. We are a global force, our films are loved all over the world and we will continue to grow more, come what may.
The pandemic has been quite difficult for Bollywood. What are your thoughts as a producer?
I feel this has been a wake-up call for us to streamline our systems and to become more organised and ready for contingencies. We have learnt that the way we made, marketed, and exhibited films cannot be taken for granted, and that we must find ways to generate employment, keep exhibitors in business, take our films to the audience, protect our daily wage workers and come together to find solutions to issues that concern all of us. As a producer, I have learnt how to enforce sanitation protocols on sets to ensure that we continue to make films but more responsibly than ever. 2021 will be another learning curve when we will find how to adapt to new circumstances. But I feel hopeful that we will do better because now we are better prepared to deal with the pandemic and the new normal.
We have just announced my next ‘Thank God’. I am also in the process of green-lighting a few other projects in the next two months.