February 18, 2020
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Om Puri

On the new drama assignment he’s doing for Channel 4, Bollywood and his "star" status

Om Puri
Om Puri
outlookindia.com
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What are you shooting in London?
A drama for Channel 4 inspired by King Lear. I am playing the lead role.

Are you looking to shoot more in the West?
It's been sort of happening on its own since City of Joy.

Anything in Hollywood?
I've a script for a film to be made jointly by companies in Hollywood and the UK.

Is an Indian accent important for doing stuff in the West?
I speak like an Indian. If the role requires it, that is fine.

What next in India?
I will be working in Govind Nihalani's new film, on the police, which will also star Mr Bachchan.

Is Bollywood changing?
Technically things have improved but the subject matter is very poor. The successes of Lagaan and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham is is just three-four films in a year out of 800.

Can this go on?
How can it? They think everyone will be happy if they show some girls wearing very little. But people are rejecting these films. Our cinema must reflect the society. People are fed up with these love stories, the same love stories.

What's the difference between a star and an actor?
A star lives off his fate, an actor has to live off his efforts.

Do you see yourself as a star?
People tend to know me where I go. But they don't try to rip my clothes off like I was Aishwarya Rai.

What are you comfortable with: to make people laugh or cry?
Every role away from your personality is a challenge. If you have to play lover boy every time, there is no problem. All you change is your clothes, now red, now yellow...

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