Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma considers Amitabh Bachchan as one of the finest actors in Bollywood but has ironically not watched many of his movies. He ranks Bachchan's performances in the two biggest flops, Nishabd and Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag - both made by him - as the best.
"As I have not watched much of his films, I rank Amitabh's performance in Nishabd as the best followed by Aag and then Sarkar," Varma told IANS.
Varma said: "I rank those performances as his best because I know what I have given to him and how much he has performed. He has performed far beyond my expectation."
Varma said he likes the kind of passion and intensity with which Amitabh performs. "But this doesn't mean that I like all the roles that he performs because I know as a filmmaker that things can go right or wrong when an actor comes up on the screen."
As far as his favourite actor is concerned, Varma said: "I don't believe in great actors or good directors. There are well-acted roles and well-directed films. Man and work are two different things."
Asked about his favourite film, Varma said he doesn't look at a film in totality.
"I might like a portion in a film which is a big flop or might hate something in a film which is a big hit.
"A film is made up of shots, scenes and sequences done in a long period of time. I might like one sequence when I shot it in a particular mindset, but I may not like it afterwards.
"I make a film when I conceive it. So when I finish it I am not the same person. I could be worse or I could be better," he said.
Varma said he is not inspired by any filmmaker but by their work. "I have too many favourite directors whose films I have liked. I am not inspired by any person but by their work. There are many directors whose one film I had liked but not the other."
He believes characters are more important than actors.
He said: "I don't make a film because of stars but if the character demands a star I will definitely go for it as was in the case of 'Sarkar'."
"'Sarkar''s character demanded a larger than life character, so Amitabh was my only choice and I went for him.
"But in the case of my latest film Contract, I did not need a star to portray a real life character, so I went for a non-starrer film. It is the characters that are most important. Characters should always decide the actors and not the other way," he said.