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'Original will always remain original'

Mukesh Khanna feels that epics can never be made a second time. Rachana Dubey interviews the actor.
By Rachana Dubey | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUN 17, 2008 01:05 PM IST

Will you be watching the new Mahabharat?
I don't think epics can ever be made a second time. Even I won't be able to repeat my own performance as Bhishma pitamah. I may watch an episode or two to see how they have ruined a great mythology. Balaji should have been the last production house to be approached for Mahabharat.

What makes you say that?
The actors or the production company don't have the kind of dedication our team did. Ravi Chopra had the best team of writers and technicians. He set a standard which cannot be equalled by anyone today. These days actors and production houses can only make a fast food Mahabharat.

It's said that the Chopras are planning another Mahabharat..
That will be something to look out for.

Any memories of the old Mahabharat?
I remember my entry. After the telecast, I went to BR Chopra's office for somework. I met Panditji there.. he was our dialogue and script writer. He told me I would take the country by a storm.

To this day, people come and tell me that I am the only Bhishma pitamah they know. There will be comparisons.. That's inevitable. But the original will always remain original. Amitabh Bachchan couldn't live up to the original Gabbar in the remake of the Sholay, could he?

What advice would you give Ronit Roy who's essaying the role of Bhisma in the new Mahabharat?
He's made a statement that he didn't see Amar Upadhyay's performance before stepping in as Mihir in Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. So, I think he's a confident actor who won't need any advice. He'll pull it off on his own.

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