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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Gandhi will never be a Mahatma for me: Kamal Haasan

Dibyojyoti Baksi, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 12, 2013
First Published: 13:17 IST(12/7/2013) | Last Updated: 16:55 IST(12/7/2013)
Kamal Haasan is halfway through the shooting of the sequel to Vishwaroopam. Amid his busy schedule, the actor takes time out for a quick chat and opens up about being a patriot in today’s India, his future plans and wanting to work with daughter Shruti sometime soon.


You have an inclination towards patriotic films.

The word ‘patriotism’ is dangerous if not used correctly. For instance, one shouldn’t confuse the fervour for cricket with patriotism. People think rooting for India in a match is patriotism. I don’t think so. And I fear being categorised as one such patriot.

Even though I have become a fan of Gandhi over the years, he will never be a Mahatma for me. Calling him a Mahatma is like putting a halo over his head and giving him angelic wings. It takes away from him, what he managed to achieve as a common man. Instead of raising him to sainthood, I’d much rather give him his due as a regular man with an extraordinary mind, great education and immense dedication.

Even the purpose of making Hey Ram (2000) was to demystify that Mahatma side to him. It may seem like it talks ill of the man, but it is an accurate view of what he really was like.

Vishwaroopam was shot in some interesting locations which are difficult to access. How did you manage that? Did you visit them personally?
We did thorough research to get to know more about these locations. I didn’t go personally because it wasn’t feasible and also risky. We wanted to shoot in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, for which we had to send someone else. We also went through about 4,000 images of Jalalabad (Afghanistan) and other locations, just to study finer details.

What is Vishwaroopam 2 about?
It’s neither a sequel nor a prequel. It’s both. It goes back in time and then again to the future. While watching Vishwaroopam, you will feel a certain curiosity about some characters in the film. We thought we’d be able to satiate that with a second serving.

Are you planning any other Hindi film?
There are a couple of scripts. We are looking for right the kind of producers. I can’t take risks all the time.

Are we going to see you act with Shruti any time soon?
Right now, I can say proudly that Shruti is too busy to do a film for me. I will wait. Hope she is never free enough to do my film, but takes out the time to do it.
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