Dalip Tahil: Mahesh Babu's Bollywood comment had a lot to do with work ethics

Published on May 26, 2022 06:39 AM IST
  • In a new interview with Hindustan Times, Dalip Tahil elaborates on his tweet about Mahesh Babu's comment that Bollywood cannot afford him. He also shares his opinion on the work ethics that need to change in the Hindi film industry.
Having worked in TV, Hindi and Telugu films, webseries, as well as BBC shows, Dalip Tahil talks about the difference in work ethics at the various places. 
Having worked in TV, Hindi and Telugu films, webseries, as well as BBC shows, Dalip Tahil talks about the difference in work ethics at the various places. 

Dalip Tahil has said that the South Indian film industry is far more organised and is a well-oiled machinery, as compared to the Hindi film industry. In a new interview with Hindustan Times, Dalip explained his recent tweet about Mahesh Babu's comment on Bollywood. Dalip is currently seen as the antagonist in the Netflix film Toolsidas Junior. (Also read: Dalip Tahil on Rajiv Kapoor not facing camera for 30 years)

In an interview earlier this month, Mahesh had said that he gets a lot of offers for Hindi films but added, "I think they can’t afford me". Dalip tweeted his support to the Telugu star and wrote, “In my humble opinion, when @urstrulyMahesh (south megastar) says Hindi movies cannot afford him, he is most likely referring to the work ethic, where I completely agree with him.. more strength to Mahesh Babu."

Asked to elaborate on the work ethics that he mentioned in his tweet, Dalip said, "What I meant by work ethics, I still stand by it. When Mahesh Babu said 'Hindi films can't afford me', maybe partly he meant the remuneration, but it had a lot to do with (something else as well)....You must understand, Mahesh Babu is a huge star across the country, not just the Telugu film industry. He is a pan-India, mega star. You must understand, when he comes to a place where he is not absolutely in control, and in complete understanding of the functioning of the project, it is going to be very difficult for him."

Talking about the work ethics in south Indian film industries, the actor said, "I have just done a Telugu film with superstar Pawan Kalyan and the work ethic is totally different. To begin with, the producers are themselves invested in the films. They are present on the sets, it is not a corporate board meeting (that is) taking decisions. They are hands-on. They shoot films start-to-finish. They are far more organised from that point of view. The decision making is with the people who are actually making the films. Yes, it is improving in Bombay as well. But by and large, the work ethics is still slipshod."

He added, "Scripts are not ready in time, the availability, changing schedules…they are all a part and parcel of films but it does not happen in the south. They are far more organised. The main people driving the projects are committed to one project at a time and it makes a big difference. Things get done far more efficiently. When I came in movies, you'd get an envelope with dates and signing amount, that's it. The decision making was with people who are actually making films."

Dalip also talked about the importance of working on bound scripts and said, "I am sure Bombay will also become an equally well-oiled machinery. I am not trying to degrade Hindi film industry or anyone but just saying what I have seen over past 47 years. I respect the Hindi movie system. It gave me a lot, and taught me a lot and I love the madness here. I remember when I did Bombay Dreams, and the BBC series (East Enders in 2003 and Nuclear Secrets in 2007), I was asked the difference between the industries and I said I miss the magic of the madness. You know, being given a new script just one hour before the shot. Unthinkable! I loved that madness, it was left to you as an actor to adjust. Let me tell you, it is not a good situation to be in. From my experience of working in south Indian films, it is a far better oiled machinery. That way, it will be difficult for Mahesh Babu to come and work in Hindi films."

Dalip also talked about the lack of bound scripts in Hindi film industry and said that, "There was this whole era in Bombay film industry when a hype was created around actors that 'ye ek take me kar leta hai (he aces the shot in one take)'. It was a way to manage and save raw stock. They pressurised actors to do it in one take, despite all the script changes. Try telling someone in the west 'let us do some other scene today'. It won't happen at all, the actors will say ‘I won’t do it, I am not prepared for it'. Very few people do bound scripts here." He added that for East Enders, he'd get his episode's scene and dialogues two weeks in advance, sealed and bound in an envelope.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sweta Kaushal has 13 years of experience covering Bollywood and regional movies, TV shows, national current affairs and social issues.

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