Sanjay Dutt, Amitabh Bachchan, Arbaaz Khan in a still from Shootout at Lokhandwala.
Director Apoorva Lakhia shoots straight with Shaikh Ayaz
Like your producer Sanjay Gupta, you’ve also become a controversial director.
( Laughs ) I haven’t. I haven’t chosen to be in the news. I can’t stop you guys, can I? You are only performing a job. I’m doing mine..making films, that is.
Okay. But Shootout at Lokhandwala has been drawn into several controversies lately.
It’s very simple.. a project as big as Shootout..with some of the finest actors.. is bound to be in the media spotlight.
Some reports have claimed that the 1992 encounter on which your film is based,was fake. Doesn’t your project become much ado about nothing, then?
I don’t know which reports you are referring to. All I can say is that the encounter is a watershed in history. 255 copswere involved in the operation, 755 rounds of bullets were fired.. all this can’t be false.
<b1>Doesn’t the film’s tagline say that it is based on ‘true rumours’?
We are playing it safe by putting a disclaimer like that. It is a true story. (Shows me newspaper clippings and A A Khan’s book, Surrender) Glance over this, I have researched the subject for over a year. Some parts had to be fictionalised for the sake of cinema. Boss, we are living in a democracy and I have certain rights to do certain things my way. In the Last King of Scotland, there was a character of a doctor who was fictionalised.
Couldn’t you end up glorifying violence?
Let’s not be judgmental about that. It’s only cinema. I’m not preaching violence.
Reportedly, you were once seeing Dia Mirza.When you broke up, it’s said that you cut her role in Shootout..
( Laughs ) Frankly, if the role of any actor or actress is cut, it’s only for the betterment of the film. It was Sanjay Gupta’s decision to cast Dia. She gave us absolutely no problems.
Are your friendlywith her today?
I’m not in regular touch with her.
You had a problem with Sanjay Gupta as a producer..which is why you’ve moved to Suniel Shetty’s banner.What do you have to say about that?
I’m a freelancer. I can work with anyone. Gupta has made Shootout.. a hot project. Suniel is producing my next film on terrorism because he liked the script.
A piece of gossip doing the rounds during the Abhi-Ash wedding was that you misbehaved with Kirron Kher and ended up souring your relationship with Sikander.
( Reacts instantly ) Sikander is like a brother. I can never think of misbehaving with my elders. And if you think someone has the guts to misbehave with a woman at the biggest wedding in filmdom, then I must salute anyone who has the guts to do that.
Do you ever use the Bachchans to get work?
I don’t.. and I never intend to. With the Bachchans, I share a personal equation.
Didn’t FarhanAkhtar refer you to assist Ashutosh Gowariker for Lagaan ?
That’s right. Infact, Farhan’s sister, Zoya and I, worked assistants toMira Nair for Kamasutra .
Aamir Khan’s wife,Kiran Rao worked with you in Lagaan. Are you in touch with her?
Not really.. but I talk to Aamir occasionally. Just the other day, he’d called me to inquire about super 16 camera.