Life’s not easy if you’re a filmmaker. At least that’s what Nagesh Kukunoor would have you believe. Having spent over a decade in Bollywood and directed films such as Hyderabad Blues and Iqbal, the director still feels raking in money to fund films isn’t easy; especially if you stray from the conventional path. “For every single film, it (funding) is a challenge. Whenever you take the road less travelled, people panic,” he says.
“When corporate money came in two-three years ago, movies — big and small — were getting made left, right and centre. I was asked then if the trend will continue, and I had my doubts. I was right. Once the money dried out, everyone went back to the hero-oriented system, which is disappointing. Every movie need not have song and dance — there should be space for big, medium and small films. Or you’ll have the same 10 actors making the same bloody movies year after year,” he elaborates.
But, for every problem, there’s a solution. Take, for example, his upcoming film, Aashayein, for which actor John Abraham didn’t charge a thing. “There came a point in the making of the film when we (John and I) decided we needed to put where our money where our mouth is,” he says. In fact, it was a monetary disagreement between Reliance (the distributors) and Percept (the producers) that led to the film getting stuck for more than a year.
Apart from work, and a keen desire to act, Nagesh says he’s always wanted to start his own restaurant. And, when he does, he’ll only serve four dishes. “I used to go to this place in Los Angeles called Killer Shrimp, which only served shrimp in a big bowl with sauce,” he says, explaining his inspiration. Hyderabadi Biryani will, predictably, be on the menu.