Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Star wars are just a hype: Mohanlal

MohanlalMohanlal likes surprises in everything — be it the characters he portrays or the initiatives he undertakes. With three back-to-back hits in 2012, the actor is going as strong as ever. In an exclusive chat with TOI, the actor talks about the recent controversies involving him, his take on the so-called new-generation movies and more. Excerpts from the interview:
We hear you are heading to Hollywood? When they approached me with the subject, I said, yes. That is just not enough to start a project. I can confidently say I’m doing a movie only when the director says ‘action and cut’. But I don’t know when it will happen. Right now, it’s just in the pipeline.
You’re a columnist and writer, ever thought of scripting a movie? I am a columnist and have published books too; but that doesn’t mean I can write a script. Scripting is not an easy job and I will not get into things which I am not sure of.
Does that mean you will never attempt it in future?
I can’t predict the future. I haven’t planned anything so far. I have done movies in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu and Kannada, and have even acted in a Sanskrit play. But none of these were planned. So, if I’m meant to do a Hollywood project, or script a movie, it will happen.
Many actors have turned to direction. Will we see a movie being directed by Mohanlal?
Sometimes when I hear a good story, I feel like I should direct it. But then, when I think about the hard work and patience involved in the whole process, I feel it is better to stay away. Direction is not an easy task; it has got its own language and grammar. If you want to make a movie, you will have to be up-to-date about a lot of things. It is better to be an actor. When you’re an actor, everything is taken care of. However, an actor can be successful only with a lot of hard work.
We hear you’re not a fan of new generation movies and that you won’t work with young talents.
When I came into the industry 30 years ago, the movies made then were touted as new generation movies. I consider this just another phase of cinema and there’s nothing unusual about it. Even many of the so called new generation movies are not successful. But what we can pray is that, in every age, let there be good movies. I do work with debutants; be it directors or actors. Currently, I’m doing debutant Salam’s Red Wine with Fahadh Faasil and Asif Ali. In Siddique’s Ladies and Gentleman, there is Krish Sathar. It’s comfortable to work with young artists. They are all talented. At the same time, I can only take up projects that will exploit the acting prowess in me.
This year was also a year of controversies
Controversies no longer affect me. There are so many of them; I guess now the media has lost topics to write about me. For example, the recent controversy involving Karmayodha poster, where I was seen with a cigar. If such posters are objectionable, then the concerned authorities should be informed. Our posters had the Corporation’s seal. Why did the Corporation give its approval for such posters? And why am I targeted? I am a performer. Will you file a case against me just because I kill goons in movies? During the Income Tax raid at my house, the news spread that I’ve illegal possessions. There were even rumours that I’ve secured them using biometric lock, which needs my finger print to open it. It was actually my personal theatre, which I had locked since there was expensive equipment. But nobody reported the truth.
Again, there was the ivory case against me. It was with me for years and many magazines had featured it enthusiastically. I have the licence to keep it. There are many cases against me that are being dropped by the court. But nobody reports that. Moral policing is high among the public and the media.
So, even the so called star wars are just media hype?
Of course! Mammootty and I have acted in 53 films together. In every age, there are comparisons between two actors — MGR-Sivaji, Naseer-Sathyan, Soman-Sukumaran, Rajini-Kamal; like that, there is Mammootty-Mohanlal. We will team up more often if directors find suitable roles for us.
Is there a Priyadarshan movie with Dulquer in the pipeline?
A Priyadarshan movie is in the offing. But Dulquer is not part of it; at least, I’m not aware of it.
Many star kids are making their Mollywood entry. When will we see Pranav on screen?
Pranav has already made his on screen presence as a child artist. But I won’t stop my children from doing what they want. If he is interested in acting, he will do it. But right now, I don’t think he is interested. He had offers from Kollywood; but he seems uninterested. He was the best actor in his school. Right now, he is studying philosophy in Sydney. I have never asked him what he is planning to do by studying philosophy. It was his choice and it’s his choice whether to take up acting or not. Same goes for my daughter as well. She is also the best actor in school. But she seems more interested in theatre. If they are interested in doing movies, I don’t have any right to stop them. But because they are Mohanlal’s children, it’s not necessary that they will be successful.
One of Mollywood’s all-time favourite was your pairing with Sreenivasan as CIDs Dasan and Vijayan. Will they come back on screen again?
Why not? If there is a good script or something that’s better than the original one, then I don’t have any problem doing it again with anyone.
Your New Year plans and next projects…
This New Year, I will be in Dubai with my family. After spending a few days with them, I will be back to work. Currently, I am doing Siddique’s Ladies & Gentleman and Salam’s Red Wine. There are a few more projects in the pipeline.

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