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Sudhir has retained the soul of Chameli as it was conceptualized: Rahul Bose

For those of us used to larger than life Bollywood heroes, Rahul Bose is the most unlikely of stars. Yet, this Rugby player is fast emerging as favourite with urban audiences who love to see the good, confused 'guy like them' telling their kind of tales. Read a transcript of a chat with Rahul Bose on October 7.

india Updated: Aug 06, 2004 13:19 IST

laughingbuddha: You had a wonderful equation with Anant Balani. Chameli was his conception. How is it to be directed by new director who is working on a script, concept and idea that is not his own?
Rahul Bose: Sudhir is a wonderful director. He has retained the soul of Chameli as it was conceptualized. I am absolutely sure it will be as good as a film.

a_tuli: How did you feel after seeing yourself in Mr & Mrs Iyer?
Rahul Bose: The same as I do, watching any other performance of mine. Like any actor, I am critical of my work. So, I was satisfied with my work.

laughingbuddha: Is it true you played Rugby for India? Or was it club Rugby in Mumbai?
Rahul Bose: Yes. I played Rugby for India.

prashant1111: I knew you used to play Rugby and represented India. I had written a script especially for you on that same topic. If I want to show you my script then can I met you?
Rahul Bose: Just send it to the guys at Hindustan Times and they will send it to me.

a_tuli: How do you relate as a management student to film industry?
Rahul Bose: I am not a management student, but as a far as the film industry is concerned, like every other industry or group of people, it has its bright professional people and its not so bright unethical people. So, you just deal with the ones you want to.

meera: You have been an advertising copywriter, a radio performer, an actor, a scriptwriter and a director. What next?
Rahul Bose: I really don't know. I just do as my heart desires. None of the stuff has ever been a conscious attempt to create any kind of an image. It's just stuff I wanted to do and I did it. Tomorrow, if I want to become an air conditioner repairwala, I will. ;-)

harish: Unlike Sonali of Mumbai Matinee, why do most journalists look so boring?
Rahul Bose: I disagree. In fact, most journalists I've met have been interesting people with an exposure to a wide variety of people and situations.

laughingbuddha: Do you really think there are many Indians like Debashish Chatterjee, the character you play in Mumbai Matinee, who are still virgins?
Rahul Bose: No. I think even if there are 32 year olds who are sexually lacking in confidence, they must certainly have lost their virginity with a prostitute in India or abroad.

rohan: After Everybody Says.. which other movie will you be directing next?
Rahul Bose: It's an extremely surreal film that has a delicate sweetness about it. It's about a man and a woman, who never meet, never touch, never talk and yet build a beautiful connection.

a_tuli: What made you step into films?
Rahul Bose: Nothing really. It wasn't a conscious move. I was offered English August on the basis of my performance in the play - Are There Tigers in Congo? So it just happened, like everything else in my life.

eew: Why don't you endorse any products or come in advertisements?
Rahul Bose: Because I am short and ugly!

rugby: As a fellow Rugby player, what do you think should be done to put India on a global scale in Rugby?
Rahul Bose: There has to be an infusion of a lot of money at the grass-root level. Simultaneously there has to be constant international tournaments organized for the Indian team and high-level of coaching talent infused into all levels, all strata of Rugby.

laughingbuddha: Can you fit into the Bollywood style of acting?
Rahul Bose: No. Sadly, no.

sheena: A lot of high profile, big budget films have bombed at the box office. What do you think ails Bollywood currently?
Rahul Bose: Nothing really is ailing Bollywood. Few big, budget films have failed due to the same reason that they have not done well over all these years -- bad script, bad acting, bad direction. People talk about big, budget films flopping, but a film's flop or success doesn't depend upon the budget.

It depends on the writing, the acting and the direction. Sholay was a big, budget commercial film but look how well it was written, acted and directed.

laughingbuddha: In Everybody Says I'm Fine you didn't really tell a story with next to nothing in the name of drama. In fact there were these multiple small stories. How would you say the movie was structured?
Rahul Bose: Precisely as you saw it. It was structured as four individual stories, held together by a hairdresser, whose dilemma becomes the central fifth story.

sona: Which projects are you currently working on?
Rahul Bose: There's Chameli and I will be doing a film called The Whisperers.

sinha: Why do you think India is a sexually repressed nation?
Rahul Bose: Sex is a fact of life, as much as work, food and travel. This is a country headed for the largest number of cases of HIV in the world. And yet, our Government is so backward thinking and repressed that it doesn't allow condom ads on primetime television.

laughingbuddha: Read in the papers that you plan to go to England in December to play Rugby. Is it the season? Do you play for any club there? Won't it be freezing cold then?
Rahul Bose: I hope I am selected for the Indian team. Yes, winter is the season.

laughingbuddha: You and Kareena are at two ends of a spectrum. How is it working with her? Is she dumb, intelligent or it is Kareena the hype...what is it?
Rahul Bose: Yes, it's true that till now our work has been at the opposite ends of a spectrum. But Kareena is a talented actress who is curious, smart and intuitive with a natural animalistic feel of how to play a scene. She is far, very far from being dumb.

reena: How did you develop such a fine flair for acting? Have you been at any of the acting schools?
Rahul Bose: It's all a fluke! I am waiting for the day people find I actually can't act. And they were being ripped off!

varunminocha: What do you think of your colleagues (actors) in the industry? You are much smarter than all of them put together.
Rahul Bose: I don't know many of them. But the ones I've met and worked with - Naseeruddin Shah, Ajay Devgan, Tabu, Konkona Sen Sharma and a host of others are streets ahead of me in ability and intelligence.

a_tuli: Being an actor, are you given a choice to select your co-star?
Rahul Bose: Mostly it's a director's decision. Sometimes I am asked for my inputs.

shovna: How was it to work with Perizaad Zorabian?
Rahul Bose: Perizaad is very warm, very professional actress. She's full of energy and boistivity. It's always a pleasure to work with someone like that.

laughingbuddha: Are you a native of Mumbai? If yes, what is this one thing about the city that you like the most?
Rahul Bose: Yes, there are so many things that I like about Mumbai. Architecture at Lion's Gate, the Keema Pao at Irani restaurants, the lanes of Bandra on a Sunday, the classical music festival at Ravindra Natya Mandir and most of all, I am consistently stunned by the amount of sheer hard work a Mumbaiite puts in everyday.

chichi: Why do you reject so many movies?
Rahul Bose: I can't do stuff that I have done before. I find it very boring. And I can't do stuff that entails singing and dancing. And I can't do stuff that is not challenging.

harish: Why didn't the selection team send any Indian film for an Oscars' entry?
Rahul Bose: In my opinion, there has not been a movie in the last 20 years, out of the movies that I have seen in India, worthy of an Oscar.

a_tuli: Being a director, what all you look for in your star cast?
Rahul Bose: A terrific amount of talent and a willingness to work hard.

laughingbuddha: When an actor or an actress does a particularly intimate scene on-screen, is it possible not to get affected? If yes, affairs should be the natural fallout. If no, how does an individual maintain sanity?
Rahul Bose: Of course it's possible to be totally unaffected. As an actor, your only focus is to make the moment totally real, but as a person, you draw the line when the director says cut! Otherwise after kissing Leela in Split Wide Open, I would be in a mental asylum! :-)

Thank you so much for joining us today Rahul! Will you like to leave a message for those who joined us today?

Rahul Bose: Yes, certainly. I think too many Indians are trying to take the easy way out. There is no substitute for hard work. Nothing is more important than compassion for others and a desire to do one's best without harming anyone.

First Published: Oct 07, 2003 15:25 IST