Posted: 10 April 2013 at 7:16pm | IP Logged
Its ridiculously long, so I'll post the link, and my favorite parts.
I'm sure you can go through the entire interview and find something that rubs you the wrong way. It wouldnt be Saif otherwise
There was a time when many of us were above the law: SaifAnshul Chaturvedi
, TNN | Apr 11, 2013, 12.00 AM IST
To the point about that, being a public figure, you have to see what influence you have on people, etc?
Yes. And I think, isn't that what mothers are there for? To tell you what to do and what not to? Not actors, surely! I mean, respect the audience a little more than that. We play characters - some of which may take drugs as well. Smoking cigarettes, I feel, personally, is a form of drug abuse. I wouldn't encourage it in my friends, my children, anybody. If I see somebody smoking in the street, I associate them with being weak, or unconscious of the damage they're doing to themselves. You see a guy on a bike puffing away on a fag. That regular, mundane, feeding the habit - it's a complete addiction.Nobody's objected to you holding a gun in Go Goa Gone's poster, have they?
I was getting there! Nobody's objected to the gun in the poster, nobody's objected to zombies being shot to shreds. And smoking, so far as I know, is legal still, while shooting people is not. And if it is legal, then all this is rubbish. You have to catch the tobacco companies and depend on people's mothers and friends
to tell them not to do what these people are paid to do on the screen, it's not a good idea.
The law should petrify you. You should be like, if I act on this impulse and go and rape a girl, the law will string me up. That should be the deterrent. Not getting actors to wear burqas, surely? Also, the actors are far softer targets than tobacco companies. Nobody will pay any attention if you write a letter to a company saying this is a terrible thing you are doing. So you'll write a letter to me or another poor sod and make him feel like he's an irresponsible so-and-so trying to make money out of promoting smoking. A cigarette is a nicotine delivery device. It's not anything else.
What's your take on the other national addiction - gutka?
I've been approached often to do pan masala
ads. And I've been offered obscene amounts of money. Obscene amounts. And I've sort of saturated my moral goodness
by not doing that. I could have educated both my children in the best establishments in the world based on one gutka
contract. But I said no, because I don't think that's a good thing to set an example for. And beyond that, please don't look at me and expect more, because I'm already feeling sometimes that maybe I should have (laughs)!
No, I'm joking. I won't.Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan. The perception that these high-life guys do things without understanding the implications. 'Actors have it easy because they're big' vs 'Actors get away lightly because they're big'. You're an actor, an ex-royal, and have cases pending. What's your take?
India has changed. There was a time when a lot of us were above the law. And we're not, anymore. The rest is specific to each case, but the point is, there have been paradigm shifts in thought, in attitude. Things have changed, massively. People talk of things like there were princes ruling India, but for us, it was not a concept, it was a way of life for my family. It changed, and it changed fast. Similarly, there was a time when India was very forgiving, the law didn't really apply to everybody. It was like, you're a huge star and you're a good guy and you're okay, if you don't really create trouble for someone, you'd be fine. We've grown up like that. There are things some of us would do without thinking earlier - today, I wouldn't do in a million years. No chance! The country has changed. There's a silent revolution that happened, in a sense. You understand these things later in life. You understand why customs stop you for pair of sunglasses.
And in how many cases are you a defendant, currently?
Currently, there's the Jodhpur case, and the Wasabi incident. I think for as long as I have been in movies, there's been one thing in court. Constantly. It'll be great to have none. But I've learnt one thing. As Johnny Depp
said to Kate Moss
, never explain, never complain. Shut up and move on. It's fine. Like this little incident at the airport, I was dying to explain, because what people thought was the opposite of what happened. People will think I'm arrogant; they'll get the wrong idea. To be written about as someone who throws his weight around... that's just not me.
(then explains his side of the story)
So why wouldn't you explain, if you were dying to?
Because you sound like an idiot. You can't create an image that's not you. Let it go. And I really feel that - unfortunately - even a little bit of a controversy today gives you a little edge (laughs)! Actually you don't want to be a particularly overly nice guy. It's fine if you are, but it's very boring. For consumption, at least. It really is. I go to the gym everyday in Lucknow, you know, and now they see me as this regular friendly guy who's there every day, and nobody really bothers anymore. It's like ghar ki murgi or whatever that thing is. If any other star would enter that gym, he'd probably be mobbed. So friendly and nice is perhaps quite the enemy of stardom (laughs)!
Finally, my favorite part!
What's the focus on 'use of energy' about?
When you're young, you fear death and graveyards so much. But when people you love die, and after a while if there are more than one or two, it becomes less frightening. Even the graveyard becomes a pleasant place where you go and spend some time. There comes a point in life, maybe around 50, where half the people you know have gone and half are around... many of my father's generation have gone. It takes the sting out of the thought of dying. It makes you conscious that it's inevitable. And it colours everything you do. You are like, everything's rented, nothing's yours.
As Jim Morrison said, I want to get my kicks before this shithouse goes up in flames. True, that. I used to say when I was a kid that I'm still young because Mel Gibson's still young. I am young because Pierce Brosnan
is still young. And I'm way younger than them. So when they start getting old, I'll start worrying about my mortality. Now they've all packed up, and do whatever I have to, soon (laughs uproariously), because I'm next. And there'll be a new generation to do what we're doing. There will be a time when I'm past it, but I'm not past it yet. So for me, the time is now.
Edited by desigal90 - 11 April 2013 at 4:01am