Is it not a tall order for a person like you to repeat Casablanca?
It’s not a remake. The central theme of love is a perpetual phenomenon. I am fully qualified to have a re-look at it in a different context.
Of the 13 films you’ve made in more than 30 years, which is your best pick?
Frankly, all of them. But Janani is my favourite. Got best director at the national level in 2000 although my own people despised me.
You seem to talk a lot but deliver little. There’s much hype before your films.
I’m least interested in yapping about my films. Unfortunately, people write about me, my films.
How could you think of Paris Hilton to play Mother Teresa?
I never knew her profile. Saw her picture in a daily and told a friend someone like that would fit the bill. I assure you it will never be Paris.
You’ve been attacked for making a mess of O.V. Vijayan’s short story, Kadaltheerathu.
Ask Dilip Padgaonkar or Paul Zacharia. Vijayan was so moved by the film that he wept. He gave me rights for Khasakkinte Ithihasam. I said I dare not touch that exquisite literature.
Have your audiences been commensurate with your efforts?
I am not bothered about laurels or commerce while making films. I do it for my contentment.
You were in the automobile business, why did you step into movies?
It’s my passion. At 24, my first film, Thanal, fetched the best State Director award. It’s not a job but a pursuit which I carry as long as I can.
Has your film Anubhav that portrays a gigolo helped you a wee bit?
Derek Malcolm has recommended it for the London film festival.
Where do you stand in a film world buzzing with big names?
I’m the ‘happiest’ man. I keep my own counsel.
What’s your next major venture?
Let it be a secret. Respect my modesty!