Nandita divulged my secrets for publicity-Om Puri
Powerhouse performer Om Puri at his candid best in an interview with BT
Tanvi Trivedi (BOMBAY TIMES; May 1, 2011)
For someone whose repertoire of films comprises – Ardh Satya, Aakrosh, Bhumika, Gandhi and more recently — Action Replayy and 3 Thay Bhai – Om Puri surprises us when he confesses that he does not enjoy the process of filmmaking any more! “I was enjoying it till the 80s and early 90s. After 1995 the quality of films in Bollywood has suffered.” In Ahmedabad for an international film festival, Puri says present day films revolve round characters one can’t relate to. “In a country where 90 per cent of the population lives in villages, I don’t understand how can films like Singh is Kinng, Patiala House and Tees Maar Khan be made? I don’t understand how can you give away crores of money to an actor because he has achieved star status. Only in the Hindi film industry an actor is bigger than the film. And when a film flops, producer marta hai bechara.”
Predominantly an arthouse cinema actor, Puri feels “meaningful” films still have their share of audience. “There is a lot of good cinema being churned out by Vishal Bhardwaj, Dibakar Banerjee, and Ashutosh Gowariker. The only difference between them and earlier arthouse filmmakers is that in the case of the former lot, the main protagonist in a commercial film has to be a saleable star. For a film like Sarkar, Mr Bachchan’s role could have been essayed by me or Naseeruddin Shah, but Mr Bachchan has a wider reach so he was chosen. Chak De! India, Mumbai Meri Jaan, Taare Zameen Par were all good films. I think the onus of producing good cinema lies in the hands of the Shah Rukh Khans, Aamir Khans and Akshay Kumars of Bollywood.”
As talk veers to his turbulent marriage to Nandita, Puri candidly admits, “if after 15 years you are not compatible with your spouse, then it is better to live separately. I had compatibility issues with Nandita earlier, but the only reason why I didn’t think about splitting with her was because of my son. Nandita hurt me the most when she wrote my biography and divulged unneccesary details about my relationships and secrets just for publicity. I had shared a lot of information with her as a husband, they were not meant for public consumption. Nandita was very insensitive when she mentioned the names of the women I had been involved with. The book was meant to be an inspiring story on how I became an actor, but it got publicity for the wrong reasons.”
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