Nagesh Kukunoor in a frankspeak with
You started your film career with
Hyderabad Blueswhich cost you a modest Rs 17 lakh. Your new release, 8 x 10 Tasveer, is budgeted at Rs 30-40 crore.
Egos and budgets don’t really matter. I am completely driven by the script. After
about five village women which is a
film. And had I got the money for
8 x 10..
earlier, I would have made it immediately after
2. I’d written a couple of big budget action films almost eight years ago. The joy of this profession is spinning yarns of different genres. <b1>
So you were always interested in big budget films?
Yes, but I didn’t pitch the scripts at that time because I was just discovering myself as a filmmaker. I’ve handled million dollar projects during my engineering days. The difference is that now I can bring my intuitions to the movie. (Smiles) I’m lucky the monstrous films didn’t happen earlier or I would have been slapped silly.
Your first three films were very personal but now you seem to have disconnected yourself from your work since.
(Smiles) If I kept writing about my own personal experiences, people would be bored! I did so earlier because it was easy. But I broke that mould with
. Even I was bored writing about myself! The process of filmmaking fires me and keeps me alive, be it any story. And I secretly pray at night that I don’t ever lose this madness.
You complained earlier that you found the industry too disorganised
(Laughs) I still complain about that! But after 11 years, I need to find other grouses, right? If I’ve chosen to work here, I better get used to it. But the journey has been totally worth it .
All my life I’ve dreamt of making films. And I’ve proved to myself that it wasn’t just talk. After Hyderabad Blues, everything else has been icing on the cake.
Yeah, you’re working with the A-listers now.
That was never the game plan. I’ve built up a loyal fan base by always doing something different. I won’t blow it by ‘playing the game’. I’ll only play for a bigger budget and names. I felt it would be better to hold the tasveer in my hand than mount it on a smaller scale, which is why I got Akshay on board.
Yours films usually have a message. What’s the idea behind this supernatural thriller?
I’m happy as well as upset when I’m labelled as a director whose films have a message.
, you were entertained by
so you remember the bloody message. But I underlined my philosophy in
Bombay to Bangkok
too but no one got it!
If it’s a crappy film, no amount of preaching will help.
8x10..is made to thrill.. not to uplift people.
Isn’t it ironical that while it’s usually smooth sailing with your small films, bigger budget films have brought you big problems?
I strongly believe in luck and it plays a big hand in this business. Sometimes the best films don’t see the light of the day and the crappiest films work.
You had mega problems with Akshay Kumar.
(Laughs) So say you guys. For good copy, you’ll make a mountain out of a molehill. It would upset me initially but now I’ve become numb to such talk. As long as I get to make the films I want, why contradict anyone?
What about the story that Neil Nitin Mukesh had turned you down?
(Smiles) Someone recently told me, “Lagta hai aapka daur theek nahin chal raha hai, Neil ne bhi aapko reject kar diya hai.” And you know what? I met Neil for the first time at an event just a month ago!
So don’t believe everything you read! The only truth about me is that I’m a taskmaster on the sets and I don’t play nice. I want things done my way and that sometimes rubs people the wrong way. But hey, if my name is up there, I better know what I’m doing, right?