Bold and outspoken, actor-turned-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt has never shied away from calling a spade a spade. And now, after her recent row with producer Vipul Shah over the usage of the title of her 2006 film, Holiday, for his upcoming Akshay Kumar-starrer, Holiday — A Soldier Is Never Off Duty, Bhatt has vowed to fight for her rights with greater gusto. “People ask me, ‘Why are you becoming a Kejriwal? Aap itne mudde kyon utha rahe ho?’ I tell them that I’m just talking about my rights. Just because I’m stating things sternly, people think I’m fighting!” says Bhatt, disgusted with the lack of trust within the film fraternity.
“Vipul wrote to me asking if he could use my title, and I would’ve happily given it away but my film (Holiday) hadn’t done well at the box office, and I’ve still not been able to sell the satellite rights. All I want is to recover some money for my partners, so I told him not to use the same name. He still went ahead and used it,” says the 41-year-old, adding, “Where is the trust in this industry? We are all swimming in the rough sea, and we owe each other more than legalities. And it’s not just about my fight with Akshay or Vipul. It’s about the rot within the industry. It’s how our industry has this glitzy picture on the outside, but is completely corroded inside in terms of values.”
This is not the first time that Bhatt has had title trouble. In 2010, she had claimed that filmmaker Anees Bazmee used the name, Thank You, for his Akshay Kumar film, despite knowing that she had already registered it. “Thank You was stolen from right under my nose. I’m still fighting that case. People asked me why am I taking on giants (big producers)? Now, once again, this has happened to me. It’s not that I like dragging my fraternity to the court because court is supposed to be the last resort,” she says.
On Vipul Shah
Vipul might not be legally bound to me, but isn’t he morally bound to me? We owe each other more than ­mere legalities
On frat support
Yash (Chopra) ji had once told me, ‘This is not the industry we created and nurtured where everyone stood up for each other’