Flash. Flash. Flash. My eyes blink. My face is plastered with a smile that couldn’t get more plastic. Any genuine smile becomes plastic if you have to hold it beyond a few seconds and here we are talking about holding that smile till each and every photographer is happy with his shot. By the end of this session, I may well be the brand ambassador for Tupperware (plastic container makers). Instead, I’m standing in front of cameras and mikes giving interviews. I enjoy talking about my films, more so if I’m looking forward to the release of one. After the routine questions about the film, I am invariably bombarded with the same boring queries, which I have answered a hundred times before at such events.
You come from a political family, what made you join films? You always do comedy why don’t you do films in other genres? You are an architect, what made you change your profession? Did your father’s influence help you get films?
Is it wrong on my part to expect a new set of questions? As an actor I come prepared for interviews. I know exactly how much of the film to reveal and how much to hold back to retain the curiosity. Interesting questions always generate interesting answers. Creativity also lies in pitching the same question differently. I have had great time talking to a select few journalists, but most reporters that I encounter come underprepared. At a press meet, the way reporters put forward questions, I seldom find a difference between any two.
Channels usually brief their reporters to get sensational stuff. We sit at a press meet to talk about our film and they are interested in everything else but the film. While they are at their creative best asking these questions, my frustration peaks as I field them. I wish I could grab their camera and shoot them instead of them shooting me. They are far more dramatic and better actors than us. Only if they knew their hidden talent, they would do our job better than us.
Question and answer is a game of offence and defense. It’s almost like a penalty shoot out in a football match. You are the goalkeeper trying to defend every question kicked by a journalist into your post trying to score a goal. You win some and loose some. At the end of the day you are either battered and bruised, or you have a smile on your face. But with the next press meet, you are back at the goal post with your gloves on facing your next ‘SHOOT-OUT’.