Amitabh Bachchan recently opined, “An original (film) should be left as an original”. And he’s not the only one who believes so. Veteran actor Om Puri, who worked with Bachchan in Dev (2004), is also unimpressed with remakes of a few past hits. “I don’t like the idea of remaking old classics. We should come up with original ideas and films,” he says.
However, Puri did act in the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Don (2006), a remake of the Amitabh Bachchan original. Puri will soon be seen in Karan Johar’s remake of the Bachchan-starrer Agneepath with Hrithik Roshan in the lead. Ask him about the contradiction and he says: “What to do? I am an actor and have to choose from the best roles I am offered with.”
Attributing increase in the number of remakes to the fact that “cinema, unfortunately, is only meant for entertainment and business” today, he adds, “Our literature in Hindi and other vernacular languages are full of strong ideas, but we only look at inspiration from old hits and abroad.”
Currently, the 60-year-old is looking forward to his role as a stern sarpanch (head of Panchayat), Omkar in Ajai Sinha’s Khap. “It’s very disturbing to read and hear news about honour killings. I hope the film sends across the right message. My character too has a change of heart by the end of the film,” he says.
For the past few years, Puri has been largely associated with several madcap comedies such as and Hera Pheri (2000), Malamaal Weekly (2006), Singh Is Kinng (2008) and Mere Baap Pehle Aap (2008). Khap, probably, will see him in a serious role after a while. “It’s not out of choice. These days, what I am offered is mostly comedies. But in between, I do a relevant and serious film like West Is West (2010),” says Puri, who contends that it all started with Chachi 420 (1998).
“With that people felt that I am also good at comedy. So, I worked in a few successful films with David Dhawan and Priyadarshan. Then, I started getting only comedies. And you can only choose from what you are offered,” he says, adding that his first love will always be films like Ardh Satya (1983) and Aakrosh (1980).
These days, Puri is busy shooting for Agneepath. “I have shot for it only for a few days. Hrithik is very impressive. Don 2 is complete. I’m playing the same role of an Interpol officer in that,” says Puri, who is also going to do a TV show on the lines of Bharat Ek Khoj for the government of India soon.