I can cope with any challenge now: Director NiwasJan 13, 2008 Subhas K. Jha
Mumbai, Jan 13 (IANS) Director E. Niwas, whose film "My Name is Anthony Gonsalves" is now showing in the theatres, says making it was a backbreaking experience.
"There was a lot of responsibility. First, I was the producer. Then I launched a new boy, Nikhil Dwivedi, and then my track record with the last few films made me cautious," Niwas told IANS.
"After making 'My Name is Anthony Gonsalves', I feel I can cope with any challenge. At the end of the day, I'm pleased with what I've done."
The movie starring Amrita Rao and Nikhil is about a bartender who dreams of becoming an actor but ends up being caught in a web of crimes.
The director said he did not have the right script for a long time. After "Bardasht", his last movie that bombed at the box office, Niwas had to be sure of what he would do next.
"I didn't want to rush into anything. Meanwhile, I made ads, including the 'Kurkure' ones with Juhi Chawla and lots of Bangladeshi ads. After that I finished 'My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves (MNIAG)' and a comedy 'De Taali'..."
Excerpts from the interview:
That's an unusual title for a film?
Yes, I have taken it from Amitabh Bachchan's song in the film "Amar Akbar Anthony". It has great recall value. "My Name Is Anthony Gosalves" is very important to me. My last release "Bardasht" happened nearly three years ago.
What happened to the momentum you created with your directorial debut in "Shool"?
I'm quite happy with the kind of films I did after "Shool". "Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega" was a conscious effort to move away from the intensity of "Shool". I grew up watching potboilers in Hyderabad. "Dum" was my tribute to my movie experiences during my growing-up years. I went wrong in the last 20 minutes. As for "Bardasht", I don't want to say anything about it. It flopped. Let's move on.
Why did you take so long to direct another film?
I didn't have the right script. After "Bardasht", I had to be sure of what I would do next. I didn't want to rush into anything. Meanwhile, I made some ads, including the Lehar Kurkure ones with Juhi Chawla and lots of Bangladeshi ads. After that, I finished "My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves" and a comedy "De Taali" with Riteish Deshmukh, Aftab Shivdasani, Ayesha Takia and Rimi Sen.
Your producers apparently wanted Vivek Oberoi to play the lead in "My Name is Anthony Gonsalves"?
I won't deny it. But my script needed a newcomer. I went to other producers. All of them wanted an established star. And I insisted on a newcomer. I had to hold several auditions to get my hero. It had to be an ordinary-looking man with extraordinary dreams. Don't ordinary people have the right to dream?
How did you end up producing it yourself?
When no one agreed I decided to produce the film myself. Since I had no expertise I messed up the first schedule. That's when Shah Rukh's company Red Chillies Entertainment came into the picture as online producers. I realised I couldn't handle production hassles while directing. We told them how much money we had. They took care of the rest.
Has it been a learning experience?
Yes! Lots of responsibilities. Firstly I was a producer. Then I launched a new boy Nikhil Dwivedi. Also, my track record with my last few films made me doubly cautious. After making "My Name is Anthony Gonsalves", I feel I can cope with any challenge. At the end of the day, I'm pleased with what I've done.
Your film opened along with Rajkumar Santoshi's "Halla Bol". Are you feeling threatened?
Not at all! In fact, I'm a big Rajkumar Santoshi fan. I'm sure "Halla Bol" will be a great film. But two good films can co-exist in the same week. "Welcome" and "Tare Zameen Par" proved it. There are times when four films come together and they flop. I'm confident I won't disappoint the audience.
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My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves