‘There is a not a single film that I’ve made that I regret.’
As Gangs Of Wasseypur turns 11 on June 22, its director Anurag Kashyap looks back at the films he’s proudest of.
“Black Friday will always be the top,” Anurag tells tells Subhash K Jha, “but that was made by a film-maker still finding his voice. That’s why I can never reach that honesty ever again.”
Gangs of Wasseypur turns 11 on June 22. Your thoughts?
I wish I knew what it would become. I would have made sure Viacom18 paid everyone and me.
Would you say it is your signature film?
No. I would call Ugly that film.
Gangs Of Wasseypur is my most successful film, and also the bane of my life.
Which film are you proudest of?
I am very proud of Ugly, Raman Raghav, Gulaal, Mukkabaaz, Manmarziyaan and Kennedy.
Black Friday will always be the top, but that was made by a film-maker still finding his voice. That’s why I can never reach that honesty ever again.
Gulaal also belongs there with Black Friday.
Ugly, Raman Raghav, Kennedy are more me, as I am now.
So is Mukkabaaz and Manmarziyaa.
My short films are the more fearless me.
Choked is also very dear to me.
Any films that you wish you hadn’t made?
There is a not a single film that I’ve made that I regret. I only regret people.
But each one has taught me a lot so while I regret meeting them or associating with them, I am also grateful to have learnt from them.
What about Bombay Velvet?
It’s my ostracised baby. I keep her very close, protected and locked in a shelf in my heart.
Budget is the root cause of it all.
But the fact that I was blind to that and a lot of other things, including others’ ambitions associated with it, puts the blame squarely on me.
Who is the best actor you have ever worked with?
I have been blessed in the actors department. They all worked with me when they wanted to and gave me their all.
But actors that I can count on anytime, that they will come for me when I need them, are Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, Amruta Subhash, Huma Qureshi, Saiyami Kher, Sobhita Dhulipala and Vineet Kumar.
The rest will say yes or no depending on other things like the role, the script, the perception, my success rate — which is, in a way, zero — their own ambitions and other factors.
Has any actor ever said no to your film?
I ask any actor that I want to work with only once. If they are reluctant, I move on.
Alaya was fantastic in Almost Pyaar With DJ Mohabbat, but not so good in others.
She is fantastic. She is made for greater things.
That’s why I say I have been blessed that all actors give their best to me. I can’t pick one over the other.
What are you working on next?
I am writing a lot.
It depends on what takes off next in the current circumstances.
There is a lot of uncertainty in the film industry.
I have many film scripts and a couple of series.
At the moment, I’m just travelling with Kennedy and writing.
When is Kennedy releasing in India?
Not decided yet. But this year for sure.
Cannes loved Kennedy.
India will love it more.
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