Director-producer Prakash Jha, who is known for his honest and straightforward opinions on different topics related to the Hindi film industry, has now expressed his views on how 'top, and legendary actors' of Bollywood are selling gutkha (tobacco). In a new interview, the filmmaker says that he hasn't made a film with ‘a big star in a while'.
When asked if he thought that actors don't own up to their films, he said that they don’t have time as an actor who had 'five flops, is shooting for 12 ad films' and getting ' Rs. 10 crores for each of them'.
"There are 5-6 actors. Look at the condition of these actors. Why will they work in my films when they get ₹50 crores for doing one gutkha advertisement? The actors are selling gutkha. Can you imagine? What are these top, legendary actors doing? We had gone to a school for location scouting. The principal of the school asked me what are you guys doing in the Mumbai film industry? The boys in our school are caught chewing gutkha. Roam around the north through Lucknow, Prayagraj, and Mugalsarai, there are big hoardings put up where all our big stars are selling all types of gutkhas (tobaccos) and paan masalas," he tells Times Of India.
Speaking on 'star system', he said, "What do we do about the system? Unless and until we don’t correct our filmmaking process. The filmmaking process doesn’t start with money, it starts with the subject. It starts with the passion of making cinema. It can’t start with the 500-crore funding that you have got, so you can make anything. That’s what is happening...I have not sat idle even for a day. I have been producing content constantly. I haven’t made a film with a big star in a while, but I have made other stuff. That's fine, I’m happy about it. When stars take time out from selling gutkhas and want to focus on content, they will come to me automatically."
Prakash Jha's pathbreaking films include 'Parinati' (1989), 'Mrityudand' (1997), 'Dil Kya Kare' (1999), 'Gangaajal' (2003), 'Apaharan' (2005), 'Raajneeti' (2010), 'Aarakshan' (2011), 'Pareeksha' and 'Saand Ki Aankh' (2019).
He also made the web series 'Aashram', which stars Bobby Deol, Aaditi Pohankar, Darshan Kumar, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Tushar Pandey, Anupriya Goenka, Adhyayan Suman, and Vikram Kochhar among others.