Actor Anil Kapoor is unfazed about the controversies surrounding his first independent production Gandhi My Father, which is based on the troubled relationship between Mahatma Gandhi and his rebellious son Harilal who later converted to Islam.
"As far as I'm concerned the film has been cleared by the censor board with a 'U' certificate without cuts. We're releasing on Aug 3. We've shown the film to many Gandhians and Gandhiji's relatives, including his grandson Tushar Gandhi. He had the highest praise for our film," Anil told IANS.
"I didn't make this film because I suddenly got interested in politics. I saw Gandhi My Father as a great father-son story. And the minute I heard about it I wanted to do it.
"And the fact that the father was the Father Of The Nation put this subject notches above the rut."
Anil is bowled over by his director Feroz Abbas Khan's meticulousness.
"I've worked with different type of directors but Feroz is a rare human being and artiste. His talent has been a revelation. As a producer I've done my best to stand by the project."
The idea of making a film on the relationship between Gandhi and Harilal has been contemplated by many filmmakers, including Joy Augustine. Even the acclaimed Sanjay Leela Bhansali was very keen to do the theme.
"Yes I'm aware of Sanjay Bhansali's interest in the project. But Feroz and I have been interacting for the last 10-12 years ago. In fact, at one time Feroz was going to direct me in a film.
"However, once I decided to produce the Gandhi film there was no question of facing the camera for Feroz. I can't be both producer and actor. Besides, I wasn't right to play either Harilal or Gandhi-ji."
Is that because Anil is too old to play the son and too young to play the father?
"Ha! Says who? Nowadays 40-year old actors are playing college students and romancing 20 year olds. So, I could've easily played Harilal if I wanted. I just had to be a little more narcissistic about it."
Anil says the fear of controversies couldn't have kept him off the Gandhi project.
"I come from a family of fearless filmmakers. When I worked with Mani Ratnam, Vinod Chopra and Shekhar Kapoor they were not the names that they later became. I chose them on the basis of the script. I've the same gut feeling about Feroz. He'll make a very special niche for himself."