Bigg Boss could have been the ideal platform for you to connect directly with your audience. What kept you from being a part of the upcoming season?
In Bigg Boss everyone competes against each other, they fight, argue and then you also get assignments. They play with you mentally. I didn’t want to get stuck in that zone. They give you some money, but by the grace of Allah I don’t need much money. So I thought, why should I be locked up? Who likes to be locked up? Everyone likes a free life. That’s nice, you know.
Would you rather not deal with mental pressure?
Qaid hone mein mazaa nahin hai (it’s no fun being locked up). I was once locked up in Aamir’s house. I don’t plan on being locked up again. I want to live freely and flow like water.
Salman Khan would have been your assistant in Bigg Boss. He knows you and could have taken care of you?
I’m not a baby anymore that someone has to take care of me. Anyway, who participated in Bigg Boss, where have their careers gone? Nowhere. Nothing is worth your freedom. I don’t want to do it just for the money. I make my money through other sources.
I was offered a few projects, which I declined because I didn’t get my prize. By God’s grace I am in a position to decline a project if it doesn’t interest me or if the amount offered to me isn’t worth it. And how much money can you earn? Where are you going to take that money? Money is important, but that’s not the only thing I choose. I look at it from all sides. For example, if I have to trade my freedom for money at Bigg Boss, it’s not worth it. Freedom is greater than money.
Actors are blamed for their prices. The project costs increase because the actors demand huge amounts. What is your opinion about this?
As far as I’m concerned I don’t charge crores. And no one will pay me either. In the case of other actors, if their prices bring the projects above budget then it is not worth it. Second, the image of all the actors has been dented. Unki pol khul gayi hai. Galat kaam spotlights mein aa gaye hain (The cat is out of the bag. Crimes are flagged right now). They must first correct their image and also lower their prices.
Aamir Khan was given anti-aircraft fire at the time of Laal Singh Chaddha’s release for a comment he made a few years ago. Do you think it was right of him to apologize?
Yes, it was right to apologize. Nobody knows everything in life. It doesn’t hurt to apologize and correct yourself. Then you become a better person. He should have apologized immediately after that thing came out, not when his movie came out. That seems opportunistic. But if someone doesn’t realize they may have hurt someone, then I don’t know about it. Because you don’t know when someone comes to realization.
You are very honest and speak candidly. How does your mother react to your candid talk?
My mother never said anything to me. She never said ‘why did you say anything?’ Why will anyone say anything if I speak the truth?
Do you live in your family home or do you stay separately?
I’m staying at the family home in Bella Vista.
Your life has been a roller coaster. Has someone approached you to make a movie about your life? Or do you ever want to tell your story?
I will one day tell my story. That day will come. I bring it to life through a movie or a web series.
Are you looking for more work?
I meet people for projects. I realized my potential as a director after Faactory (Faisal’s last release). I meet people for acting, but also to write scripts and build a project. Hopefully things will take shape.
Are you trying to get married and settle down again?
Who marries an old man like me? Maybe I’ll find someone my age. Like I told you, when we spoke last time, I want to make some money first and get settled. Some things look promising and I’m getting work here and there. Let’s focus on work first and then things in life follow.
Do you have plans to remake your father Tahir Hussain’s movies?
I have no plans to remake any of those movies. Aamir owns the rights to all those movies.
Are you talking to Aamir or not?
Of course I agree with him. We meet and greet each other every now and then. But the thing is, he’s so busy in his life and I’m struggling in my busy life.
Have you seen Laal Singh Chaddha?
I watched it. Not right away, but I did look into it. I liked the movie in parts. I thought Aamir should have chosen a better script, especially since he was going to come up with a movie after 4 years. I liked the movie in parts, but not completely. You expect Aamir and other good actors to do a good job. They should amaze you. But that unfortunately did not happen with Laal Singh Chaddha. It wasn’t a “wow!” movie.
What do you have to say about the boycott Bollywood trends?
I think Boycott Bollywood is a necessary move. Because after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, all the evil of Bollywood came to light. The world got to know the dirty side of Bollywood. And how much arrogance there is in the industry. So they pay a price for it and will continue to do so. The whole system has to change. Because only a few people ruled Bollywood as dictators. That is not good. Creativity must flow. Anyone can be creative. You’re trying to monopolize the entire company. That’s not how it works.
I think it’s a very necessary move. Right now they are suffering, but in a few years time will change. The industry will reshape with new people coming in. And that is necessary. It’s like an uprising, also because the industry has become so corrupt. Ninety percent of them are corrupt.
What do you mean by corrupt?
Corruption can be of many kinds. Like they don’t give a chance. The theaters prefer the stars. A new actor’s movies don’t get screens to show his movie. How can he prove himself? The theater owners are also like “Yeh bik raha hai toh usko saare screens de do (Give all the screens to the movies that may be sold out).” They should give newcomers the chance to show their talent. There should be a quota for all types of movies to get screens. Otherwise this is corruption. You monopolize. Then they abused girls and now even boys. Why do you want to abuse your power? God is above all of us. You will have to pay a price.
In the past, businessmen with money came under the assumption that with love and luck they would make a good film. But these guys cheated them. Kitnon ke ghar barbad hue hain (So many men were ruined). All this corruption functions on different levels.
Do you think Bollywood stars should lower their prices?
The galaxy must end. Today, movies from all the big stars have flopped. Where is their credibility? The era of superstars is over for now. Maybe after a few years a new superstar will emerge.
Apart from corruption, there is no commitment to the work. There must be commitment to your work. They don’t give time to their movies. Tapasya nahin hai (There is no devotion). Why do you still like old songs and movies? Because they put time, effort and sincerity into making movies. Today, movies and songs come and go. Because it is a work of shortcuts. How will this industry survive this way? The entire industry needs to roll up its sleeves and undergo a makeover.