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I can't do justice to SRK: Ramu

india Updated: Aug 04, 2006 19:38 IST
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Ram Gopal Varma has decided to make Sholay  with Amitabh Bachchan instead of Time Machine with Shah Rukh Khan, because he thinks the latter's youthful image doesn't fit his kind of dark and intense cinema.

"I saw no reason to go ahead with the Shah Rukh Khan project. His youthful exuberant image just didn't go with the dark brooding intensity of the cinema that I believe in. I felt the kind of cinema I make is incompatible with Shah Rukh's image," Varma told IANS in an interview.

But his decision doesn't affect his fondness for the actor.

"I'm very fond of Shah Rukh. As a person I respect him tremendously. But I feel I am incapable of doing justice to his image. There's a tremendous difference of sensibility in the cinema that Shah Rukh generally does and I make," said Varma, who has scrapped Time Machine from his wish list.

Excerpts:

Why this flash decision?
It wasn't an overnight decision. I thought a lot about it. And finally I saw no reason to go ahead with the Shah Rukh Khan project. His youthful exuberant image just didn't go with the dark brooding intensity of the cinema that I believe in.

Ram Gopal Varma has decided to make Sholay  with Amitabh Bachchan instead of Time Machine with Shah Rukh Khan, because he thinks the latter's youthful image doesn't fit his kind of dark and intense cinema.

I felt the kind of cinema I make is incompatible with Shah Rukh's image. Sadly, but firmly I decided to put

Time Machine

aside to do a project I was far more excited about.

That must have taken some deliberation?
Deep down inside I wasn't comfortable with the idea of directing Shah Rukh. I just love larger-than-life characters and issues. I wasn't comfortable cutting my capabilities down to the size that audiences would expect if Shah Rukh is in a picture.

To put eight-nine months of my time and a sizeable budget in a project where my heart wasn't completely in it seemed to make no sense. Every time I thought about the two films, I was immediately drawn to Sholay. I have never in my career followed the star system. Nor have I ever made a film to accommodate the image of a superstar.

So were you tempted to work with Shah Rukh because of his immense stardom?
I'm very fond of Shah Rukh. As a person I respect him tremendously. But I feel I am incapable of doing justice to his image. I remember Karan Johar once telling me Kabhi Kabhiewas his favourite Amitabh Bachchan film. That's the only film of Mr Bachchan that I hated.

There's a tremendous difference of sensibility in the cinema that Shah Rukh generally does and I make. I know he has a staggering fan-following among children and women who love those kinds of sugary romances. I would be a total mismatch with Shah Rukh.

Would you have felt compromised?
Not compromised, confused. It wouldn't have come from the heart. Considering the economics involved, Time Machine seemed more like a commercial proposal than something I believed in.

Whatever I've made so far - good, bad or ugly - I've always made films from my heart. And I've had great fun making each of my films. "Time Machine" didn't feel like fun. It felt like work.

How was your interaction with Shah Rukh?
I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with him. He is a very intelligent man. The difference is in our sensibilities and the kind of expectations audiences have from his kind of cinema and mine.

As an actor Shah Rukh is someone I cannot connect with. That isn't to say he can't act. But he's expected to be projected in a certain way. I'd have been doing disservice to him and to me if I went ahead with our project.

So why Sholay  now?
I can't sleep in the night. That's how excited I am about Sholay. With Shah Rukh's project I felt I was going back to school. I hated school. It was like something that had to be done. It was work. See, I never grew up watching Shah Rukh. I was just informed that he is a superstar.

On the other hand, Amitabh Bachchan is a superstar to me because I sat in the theatres of Hyderabad as a boy watching all his films. It didn't seem right to do a film just because he's supposed to be superstar. In my heart I felt no enthusiasm or excitement.

So does Time Machine stand scrapped?
With me as a director it is scrapped.

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