By Jyothi Venkatesh
CHARMY KAUR tells senior journalist JYOTHI VENKATESH when she meets him for a second time for this interview at Karan Johar’s office, this time not as an actor but as a producer, though the last time she had met as an actress in Buddha Hoga Terra Baap
Your collaboration with Karan Johar, Liger is releasing on August 25 whereas Karan is releasing his own film Brahmastra two weeks later. Didn’t you convince him to come up later with Brahmastra?
You bet I did ask Karan why on earth he was all set to come up with his own film Brahmastra at the cost of my film Liger just two weeks later and he told me that a two week window was more than good for Liger whereas I am worried that to sustain for even two weeks in these days after the pandemic is by itself a very big challenge, unlike in the good old days several decades ago, a film like say Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge or Kuch Kuch Hota Hai or for that matter Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham used to run for a silver jubilee or even a golden jubilee all through the year.
Are you scared of your film taking a beating from Brahmastra?
No. Not at all. Liger is a different genre of a film which will set out to an entirely different market unlike Brahmastra and is a different family drama. Brahmastra also will have a great audience and is also a PAN India film. The song Kesaria has done well in Telugu and we cannot just blame all the films if a few did not do well at the box office.
Though you are an actress by your own merit, what is the reason you decide not to act in Liger?
I am simply fed up with acting though the only Hindi film in which I had acted till date has been Buddha Hoga Terra Baap with Amitabh Bachchan. When I had started acting in films way back in 2001, I remember I used to have as many as six to seven releases every year and there were no promotions till the film was released and had turned out to be a big hit. It was only after the film was a hit that we used to go to TV stations and promote the success of the films at that point of time, whereas these days we are promoting more films than the number of films in which we are acting.
Why do you say that you were fed up with acting?
Look here. At that age, perhaps I did not have any option at all. I just shifted with the flow. Believe it or not everything was just controlled by my fate and I did not have a savings bank account.
Do you think that male actors get better and bigger opportunities in films than the female actresses?
Definitely. I think that the kind of opportunities that the male actors get in the film industry whether it is Telugu film industry or for that matter Hindi film industry, is more and that equation has simply not changed till date. I remember having asked Vijay one day when the shooting of Liger was going on where he would see himself say after 20 years and you know what he told me. “Doing the same shit in and out”.
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Hindi films which were released after the pandemic, whether it was Jersey or Hit or Shabhash Mithu have not run at the box office as well as RRR or Pushpa did. What is the reason?
What is happening right now is nothing but a different kind of wave at the box office, especially since after the pandemic and the lockdown, the pace has slowed down. It is very scary and we really do not know what exactly the problem is. What is worse is that in Andhra Pradesh itself, many theatres as well as malls without screens have been converted as Amazon godowns and we all want our theatres to come back in place.
As a producer, do you believe that the stars should not ask for a bigger price as it is their price which is responsible for a film‘s loss?
I like to be on my toes while controlling not the budget of a film but the wastage on the sets. The stars or the content are never a big problem but the wastage is. I will not blame the stars for charging what they feel is their worth because it is because of the stars that the audience throng to the cinema houses.
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Rumour mills insist that you and Puri Jagannadh are in a serious relationship. How far is it true?
The first time I read about our so-called affair, I was aghast and very badly hurt and cried the whole night in front of my father. I am a normal human being. I want people to see me as a hard working young woman who is working for her family. However when I got up the next day, I decided to give a damn to all the rumours about me and Puri Saab and go ahead with my own life the way I wanted to go ahead with my work. With success, I am sure people will realise what is the truth with success and say that the Puri- Jagannadh combination is really working wonders.
We in general love knowing as well as talking about gossip about other people and their lives but detest if others talk about our lives in a salacious manner. As long as Puri saab and I or for that matter my family knows that rumours are not at all true, I do not care at all
What are your expectations about Liger opening to huge numbers at the box office?
I know for sure and am hugely confident that Liger is opening to large numbers at the box office, when it is released on August 25 this year. Though Thursday is not at all a good day for a film to open, I thought that we should release Liger too on Thursday because we are releasing the other language versions on Thursday and did not want Liger to lag behind as far as the Hindi version is concerned by even a day. I am 100 percent sure that the film is here to stay and not meant only for the first four days. The film will have a lot of repeat audience and by the looks of it is going to emerge as an all-time big blockbuster.
Have Karan Johar, Apoorva and Karan’s mother Hiroo liked the film? Why just Karan, Apoorva also liked it a lot. The best complement came from Karan’s regular distributor Anil Thadani who did not sit at all after the interval and told us that no viewer will sit on his or her seat after the interval because the film is so riveting