June 27, 2020
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Om Puri

On his upcoming foreign films and rubbing shoulders with Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks et al.

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Om Puri
Om Puri
You’ve got two foreign films lined up?

Yes, Shoot on Sight with Jagmohan Mundhra and Charlie Wilson’s War where my co-stars were Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.

Why is Charlie Wilson’s War delayed?

The shoot has been over a long time ago but it’s a huge film and they had some bad luck. Both films should be out in a couple of months.

How was it working with Julia Roberts?

She’s wonderful looking and a great actress but a little reserved. Tom Hanks is a fun guy, very friendly and a prankster.

Both films have a Pakistani touch. Do you expect any reactions from the neighbours?

No. It’s a very realistic portrayal of Zia-ul-Haq, it is a portrayal with responsibility but at the same time it is not afraid of being critical because Zia was not a very straight guy. My character is very sympathetic—he makes sense, there’s a lot of truth in what he says.

You take on all work with sincerity, be it big or small. What keeps you so humble?

It is my nature. I didn’t come here to become rich overnight. I had no illusions about my physical personality. Fortunately, art films came to my rescue. They gave me credibility which commercial cinema also made use of. Success has to be digested well if you want to sustain it.

October 18 you’ve grown a year wiser.

One realises that you’re a year older and have less time and I want to be a little more choosy than I have been.

What gives you the most satisfaction?

The past. Films I did from the ’70s -mid-’90s.

We’re hearing of your biography. Why not an autobiography?

I’m not a writer and I didn’t want a ghost writer.

A publishing house offer or your idea?

It was originally Shyam Benegal’s idea. He said, "Om you should get your biography written. I see a film in it." I’ve asked Aparajita Krishna to write it. We don’t have a publisher.

When will we see it?

It may take a year or a little more maybe.

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