Learning on the Job

Ratnam

You are always asked when you will work with Kamal Haasan , Rajinikanth or Amitabh Bachchan. Will it happen in the near future?

Very difficult. Because they are huge stars and have done everything under the sun. So unless I can find something new, I will not go anywhere near them. I can't go ask any one of them 'just do one role for me'. I have told Amitabh Bachchan in the past 'you are too big for me. I can't carry you'. The more talented an actor is, the more the demand for the role, which will bring that out of him, a character that will go to a shade that the actor has not done.

Do you think we, as a country, assign stardom too early?

I think we are a nation that likes heroes. Whether tribal leaders or our gods, heroes have always been there. We make stars of them very easily, then we expect them to be that, and still convince us as actors. Whereas in the West, there are sportsmen who carry that mantle to a great extent. There are a few who are huge stars, the rest of them stay actors and concentrate on that.

Having faced the possibility of getting an 'A' certificate for one of your films merely because the lead character a housewife sought divorce, how do you view the system of censorship in India?

We are not yet ready for self-regulation. It can't come overnight. We should grow up and be mature enough to be able to do that. I think we are in the process, at least debates are starting and questions are being raised.

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