This is your first national award?
It's a sarkari award. I accept it with humility.
But this is the highest government honour for a film personality.
When you speak of the government, you mean a handful of jury members. People come with their in-built prejudices. I am the last man to lobby for any awards. I don't visit Delhi to be with the powers-that-be.
Are you happy with the honour?
It fortifies my own conviction about my abilities. There's a little more confidence in myself.
You've won a Padma Bhushan earlier.
I was told I was getting the Padma Vibhushan. The next day, it became the Padma Bhushan. Either ways, I was happy.
Will you discover another Zeenat Aman?
You enjoy working with newcomers?
They are eager to work and prove themselves. They reciprocate my discipline and commitment.
Are you a workaholic?
I am intoxicated by filmmaking. Cinema is a movement for me, it's about people, characters.
What interests you other than films?
Films encompass all creative mediums. It has poetry, prose, music.... What more can I ask for?
I'd have to bend backwards to get votes. As a filmmaker, no one dictates my creativity.
Is it frustrating when your colleagues don't match your enthusiasm?
I understand their impatience to make money!