Joined: 15 February 2005
"'Lips' has beautifully shot sex scenes. It will sell"
Anuj Saxena has been proving an elusive interviewee for quite a while. Kkusum has floundered in recent days, but there's this hot flick Lips awaiting release soon. What is it, we wondered, was making Anuj tight lipped? Vickey Lalwani finally caught up with him for the answers.
night standsnight standsLet's begin with the obvious - your hot scenes in 'Lips'. Did you get carried away?
Yes and no. There were at least 25 people on the sets when we shot those scenes. With so much noise, lights and instructions floating around, we both were very conscious. But then, hormones are hormones! (laughs).
Do you ever reflect on those scenes now? Do they still turn you on?
We did a couple of nice shower scenes (laughs). Yeah! A couple of them do make me think! I hope the audience gets turned on - that should serve their purpose.
Don't you think that the sex phase is over in Bollywood? Now, films with loads of sex are just not running...
(Interrupts) Firstly, Lips is not a sex film per se. It's a thriller which extends to 135 minutes. But yes, it's being portrayed as a sex film, maybe because the Indian audiences do come in hearing that it has sex in it. We can't blame the people. Sex does not bore anybody. Some recent releases in this regard may have bombed at the turnstiles, but that's because there has been an overdose of sex in them, plus those films were shot not aesthetically. Lips has sex scenes which have been shot beautifully. It will sell.
Was Masumi comfy doing that bare-all, dare-all stuff?
At the end of the day, we are actors. I don't know why hot scenes get talked about so much in India. In Hollywood, it's no big deal. We all do it here, we all practise it, but when we see somebody doing it on screen, it goes against our moral values. Strange! (pauses)
Going back to your question, we were a bit uncomfortable in the beginning because it was tantamount to kissing a stranger. Before the first hot scene, we met just a couple of times just casually on the sets. That's where the Indian values and ethics come in. For here, we are not so much into one-night stands. But as we started filming further, we became friendly. There was a great degree of comfort thereafter.
We heard you were threatening to leave Kkusum?
Articles in the media are all about headlines. I didn't threaten to leave this serial. It's just that there is confusion going on right now. They don't seem to know how to take the storyline forward. Every time they take a track, it goes out and comes back again. For someone like me or anybody else who has built up the show and been around for four years, onedoesn't want to be a part of something where there is no clarity on thought and vision. I would rather not do a show in which I don't know what I am doing!
So, there was a phase when you had second thoughts on Kkusum?
I think it has become a regular thing. There was a time when Ekta Kapoor used to listen to the script. She used to sit on it herself. On date, she has too many projects and is not able to give it time. Once upon a time, Kkusum was a huge show. It still has its brand equity. When Nausheen and I were doing Kkusum together, we notched up TRPs of 11. Kkusum was spoken in the same breath as Kyunki.., Kahaani... It's difficult to regain lost glory. The show is too crowded now. Who do you give justice to? The Kkusum-Abhay story became Kkusum-Abhay-Esha which became Kkusum-Abhay-Taashu, which then shifted focus to Garv, Kshitij, Kali, Mahi and now it's Trishul and Vidhi. The audience also getsconfused (pauses).
I hadn't threatened to leave. But yes, I did discuss matters with Shobhaji. I am what I am today because of Kkusum. But Kkusum is not something that I'll take to the grave with me. If it works out, it's fine. Else, God is great and life moves on.
Let me put it this way now. What is the situation now?
On date, I would say, there is confusion. They have something in mind but it needs to get implemented. Right now they are building up the wedding. The issue is: What next? Plus all these rumours about Manasi Joshi-Roy getting replaced, there's only one person who can decide and that is Ekta. This confusion isn't too good for the actors. Actors like Manasi, Narayani Shastri (she dropped out of the show recently) and I need to know what is happening.
So are you keeping your cards open to opt if things don't work out to your liking?
Hmmm... I have not given Balaji Telefims a stipulated period. I have not threatened them with a deadline. But at the end of the day, I want Abhay Kapoor to be Abhay Kapoor.
Coming to Rajaa Mukerji (producer of Sahara One's Prratima). You had a problem with him recently?
See, I was out of town when the Prratima 100-episode completion party happened. Rajaa had called me a few days prior to that, but I received no confirmation that it was actually happening. I assumed it was not happening. The reconfirmation not coming got construed as uninvited. Of course, later we clarified it with each other.
I have never had long-lasting problems with anybody. If it was so, would I have returned in 'Kkusum' and 'Saara Akaash'? I started off with Asha Parekh in Kora Kagaz and came back to do Kuch Pal Saath Tumhara.
True, but you had left Kuch Pal Saath Tumhara too. Why?
I am a person who organises his diaries well in advance. My business meetings require me to travel abroad and so I need to be systematic and organised. But practically speaking, things are very fluid in the industry. Within the parameters, I try my best to adjust. As for KPST, Sahara wanted to re-shoot some of the episodes which had been canned, but I had told them that I needed to take a break. I had committed myself for some shows abroad.
Coming to Prratima, it's said that your miscommunication with Rajaa has led to you being bumped off the show?
I will be shown falling off a cliff. Sudha Chandran's daughter will push me off. My body will not be shown, so I'll be disappearing. But Rajaa has told me that I'll be back. The questions are: When? How?
So you'll be back in Prratima
God willing. But then, anything is possible on Indian television.
How does your wife react to rumours linking you to your co-artistes?
There have been rumours with Aashka (Kumud) and about other women too. Initially, it was difficult to explain to Ishmit. She is not from the industry. Later she understood that it is an occupational hazard, and the fact that I am a transparent guy who would never cheat on his wife made it a bit easier.
How did she take to those brazen scenes from Lips?
She was present during the shooting one of the hot scenes. It's difficult for any woman to see her husband semi-naked with another woman (laughs).
And did she stop talking to you after that scene?
(Laughs) Yeah. She had every reason to.
You and Narayani Shastri were in love?
Let's put it this way. We liked each other.
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Snippets in snapshots! Nausheen AliSardar
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|Anoli||2||2175||13 May 2005 at 2:53pm by *Dipti*|
She is making a come back to TV after 10 years
The case has been going on for a long tim now..
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