Akshay did not chop John's role, Priyadarshan says

Nov 17, 2005 Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Nov 18 (IANS) Rumours that Akshay Kumar had "chopped off" his co-star John Abraham's scenes in the recently released "Garam Masala" are nothing but a "figment of a troublesome journalist's imagination", says a dismissive Priyadarshan.

"Am I some idiot to let one of my actors make my film for me?" the director, who's just out of hospital after a sinus problem, asks sarcastically.

Sighing deeply, the director further comments, "This is nothing but a figment of a troublesome journalist's imagination. It may be some people's idea of publicity, not mine. I've been around for too long to let actors dictate me. Akshay never showed the slightest inclination to invade John's territory. In fact, I've been in touch with John. Not once has he expressed any grievance against Akshay. So who are these people spreading these rumours? I want to know their identity."

The failure of his Diwali release "Kyon Ki" has left him sorely disappointed.

"As I kept saying 'Kyon Ki' was from my heart. Its failure broke my heart. I wanted to make films that I believe in. But now it doesn't seem possible, at least not in Hindi where the market is dictated by the formula. I guess I might as well make films like 'Garam Masala' and not lose my audience in Bollywood. I can make the more serious and experimental films in Malayalam where the market is more friendly to new ideas."

Priyan regrets the damage that the failure of a 'serious' film like "Kyon Ki" does to the star system. "People said Salman Khan shouldn't have died at the end. But that was my story! Why should I have changed the ending? Just to suit the Diwali mood? In that case, I should've never released 'Kyon Ki' during Diwali.

"If films where Bollywood stars try to go beyond convention don't work, they'll continue to do the same kind of safe films. No wonder big banners like Yashraj Films make movies based on specific formula and mood. At least they've ensured their success. In Bollywood, success is all that's respected."

In the same breath Priyan admits that his next release "Malamaal Express" is a more believable comedy. "It's nothing like 'Garam Masala', which was an out-and-out escapist comedy. 'Malamaal Express' is more rooted to reality. It's for a more selected audience. If there were 300 prints of 'Garam Masala', only 100 prints of 'Malamaal Express' should be released."

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