Prashant Raj, who in Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag plays the character that Amitabh Bachchan did in the 1975 cult hit Sholay, initially had a tough time getting used to Sushmita Sen as a co-star.
"But that was only until she came on the set and we met. In two minutes she had me completely relaxed. Till the end of shooting, not for a minute did I feel I was shooting with someone with such an aura around her," he said.
"But, yes, initially I was more intimidated by Sushmita than Mr Bachchan and all the other seasoned troupers I worked with."
Now that Aag is over, Raj is content with his performance. "Imagine, I got to play Mr Bachchan's role from Sholay. But nowhere have I tried to impersonate his Jai. Ajay Devgan and I have played Jai and Veeru in our own way. You won't find any traces of the earlier actors in our performances."<b1>
The young actor is incensed by the comparisons that have already started. "The news channels are putting my picture next to Mr Bachchan's. I find that very unfair. He's like god, way, way above. To even mention my name in the same breath is ridiculous".
"But I guess such comparisons are bound to happen and each one of us will be compared with all those unforgettable performers in Ramesh Sippy's Sholay."
Raj has already started shooting his next film. "Fortunately I'm not sitting at home waiting for Aag to release. I would have gone crazy sitting quietly waiting for things to happen. I'm already almost done with my second film Toss directed by Ramesh Katkar where I've Aarti Chhabria as a co-star.
"I play this ordinary guy called Samay caught in an extraordinary situation. A far cry from Sholay."