I love the stage, I love the process of acting in theatre, but unfortunately, it doesn’t pay the bills.
Everything has its advantages and disadvantages.
In a country like India, we don’t want to put everyone in one big mixture. We have a different language, culture and cuisine for each region, even though we are united in the larger context. We are more like a fruit salad, where each ingredient has its own specialty, each fruit its distinct flavor, and together, the salad makes a tasty dish, without losing the individuality of each constituent.
The Anglo-Saxon world saw India as an underdeveloped country. The land of snake charmers, the cows on the street, that “ex-colony-backward-nation” kind of viewpoint, very condescending. Europe on the other hand, saw India in a more romantic, mystical, spiritual way, as a place that’s a fountain of wisdom.
Men are like mascara, they run at the slightest display of emotion.
You are probably right when you say that I could get a role in any producer’s film if I just asked.
Being an international actor, I always had to keep moving.
I do believe that with more worldwide influences, the coming of the internet age and digital media, the flow of information is far greater, and people’s understanding can expand more easily.
I think worldwide, the movement has been towards accepting and respecting the individuality and the rights of gay people, lesbians and transgender people. Here, however, age-old cultural mindsets – which also comes from Victorian times, affect the thinking of people.
I think the Indian model of respecting the uniqueness of each religion and, of every state is what makes the country great.
India can’t be looked at as a country; it’s more of a continent.
Different nations have different ways of forming their national identity. In America, for instance, the model was one of homogeneity breaking from different backgrounds, and the whole effort was to blend them all together like a wonderful making of a milkshake!
Today, of course, the world’s perception of India has changed tremendously. People understand its role in world affairs; they understand that India is not some backward nation. In fact, it is the fastest growing free-market democracy in the world today, and that says it all.
The advantage my looks gave me was that I wasn’t limited to just playing Indian roles when I was abroad, and I’ve been abroad for almost twenty-five years.
When you are a filmmaker, you need to be rooted, because committing yourself to producing or directing a film is a good three-year process.
I grew up speaking English and Punjabi. Just living and working in Punjab and smelling the early morning air and sitting down and having paranthas and lassi and all that was marvellous.
There’s a big difference between how the Anglo-Saxon world views India, or viewed India, and the way Europe views India.
I could play Arab roles, even German roles, Italian roles because I had that look.
It is time that India legally respected the rights of LGBT persons. It is very sad that this is not enshrined in Indian law in India so far, but I do believe that soon, we will come on par with respecting the individuality of people with different sexualities.
Actors are limited by their appearance and while it has cost me some roles, it has got me some very important roles too.
I can’t play Mahatma Gandhi.
Delhi is my emotional home. I still dream of owning a home there.
Everything has a place and time.
I am going to produce a movie of my own. I am not going to stick to the time-tested formulae of Hindi cinema. I want to make a film for the present generation. So there will be a lot of new faces in the film.
I have never pressurized a producer to do me any favor.