He is out there to entertain a family audience with laughs, emotions, unbelievable action sequences, the works. His audience loves his brand of cinema. Proof of this is his five hits; two of which — Golmaal 3 and Singham — are in that much-envied ` 100 crore club. Excerpts from an interview with RS:
No butterflies in your stomach on the eve of the release of Bol Bachchan?
Why should I be nervous? I know my audience, and they in turn know my cinema. When I pick a subject, it’s for a family audience. I shoot and edit my films keeping them in mind. I’m dead sure about the product that bears my name.
Five hits out of eight films — that’s a fabulous success ratio.
That’s because I’m honest. I’m not making a classic, nor am I saying that I’m here to make the society think. I have a simple message: this is my capability and this is what I can deliver. So please come and watch.
Having two films in that 100-crore club must put some pressure on you?
I try not to think about it, but I know that even if my film makes ` 99 crores, the trade will say, ‘Baat nahin bani.’ That puts immense pressure on me. I have set a benchmark with my last two releases, and I will have to live up to it every time, whether I like it or not.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra recently said, ‘Rubbish films are making 100 crores’. What do you have to say?
I don’t know in what context that was said. I personally think all of us should celebrate each other’s success. I want us to make hits every Friday. That way, we can be a bigger industry than even Hollywood. If more money comes in, we can make Transformers in a budget of ` 1,300 crore.
Why is there so much animosity amongst filmmakers?
I don’t know. Incidentally many of us are born and brought up in the industry. My grandmother and both my parents worked in Bollywood. I would personally not run down any cinema just because I am not capable of making it. Anurag Kashyap makes a certain kind of cinema; I make a different kind. But when we meet, we are friendly. Just the other day, we were chatting for half an hour outside my office, and Anurag paid me a huge compliment when he said, ‘Yaar Rohit, my mother likes your films.’
After Bol Bachchan, you move on to Chennai Express with Shah Rukh Khan. The industry has been seeing all kinds of meanings behind this…
People are constantly asking me if there is friction between Ajay Devgn and me. When I started work on Chennai Express a year ago, I was still shooting Singham. Ajay was fully in the loop and he is genuinely happy for me. When I finish Chennai Express, I will start my next film for Ajay’s banner. All talk of friction between him and me are baseless.
Ajay and SRK fell out after the Karan-Arjun fracas. Later SRK got Salman Khan to step into Ajay’s role. Now we hear, you have plans to bring them together?
I would love for these two big stars to come together in a project directed by me. Both are sensitive, old-school guys. Their approach to filmmaking is similar. Neither of them asks questions like, ‘What is your budget?’ Both have afforded me complete creative autonomy, so what’s wrong in my hoping that these giants agree to a joint venture? If that happens, can you imagine what the satellite rights will sell for; or the overseas collection will be?
It can be a jackpot?
Jokes apart, people are constantly asking me, ‘What are you doing for the industry?’ When one makes a blockbuster, you plough back money into the industry. If my film makes ` 100 crore, I’m not taking the entire sum home! It gets distributed between the exhibitors, distributors, producers and actors.