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A film that bagged an award at Cannes this year tells of a love story aided unwittingly by the noted 'dabbawallas' of Mumbai.
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Now I feel in control as an actor: Imran Khan
You are reconstructing your grandfather's bungalow at Pali Hill to look exactly the way the old one did. Why?
I am keeping my house the way it is, because it is the house that my grandfather bought. Among the things that will occupy the same place as they did earlier, is the desk where he sat and wrote Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. That table has great value. Everything in my life has to have an emotional value.
Your grandmother's saris would hang in the cupboard in your room and you still prefer to write with the pen your grandfather used. Obviously continuity matters to you...
I place a lot of value on my family and my heritage. I am immensely proud of where I come from. Be it my grandfather, Mansoor (Khan) or Aamir (Khan), these are people who had extremely high standards and I feel I need to match up to them. One thought constantly in my mind is - am I doing enough to make them proud?
That's your mother's side of the family. What about your father?
My father is very similar to my mother's side of the family. He is a person of tremendous integrity. He places a high value on doing the right thing. So there's no escape for me.
Is he a confidante?
No, I don't have confidantes. I am the sort of person who sits and figures things out by himself. I have never been comfortable sharing everything with anyone, and certainly not about showing or admitting my weakness.
After 'Luck' and 'Kidnap' failed, you were jobless for several months till you decided you didn't want to do action films anymore. Was that a difficult period?
That happened in 2009. I finished Luck in February and not liking anything that was being offered to me, sat at home till October without signing a film. It was tough and also strange.
You can't let your despair show because a major part of acting, of being on screen, is selling confidence and star quality, and the second it starts to drain out of you, you are not going to be any good on screen at all. You tell yourself, 'I am feeling down because my film has not worked, but if I look down and I let it show, then I will slide down even further, because then my work will be bad. So I have to be exactly the opposite. I must be so damn good that I pull myself out of it. ' So when I went into I Hate Luv Storys, I went in with a vengeance, intending to grab everything with both hands, and tear everything apart.
It's been two-and-a-half years since I have actually been in the business, and I would say it has been in the last six months maybe that I have actually felt like I know what I am doing. I think for the first two years I had no clue what was going on and I wasn't at ease. It's only in the past few months that I am finally starting to feel in control as an actor.
There was a time when you read every script that came your way, even the hand-written ones. Do you still do that?
When I had a lot of free time, I accepted every script. Now, I limit the number of scripts that I accept. I am still very particular, very conscientious about reading them. If I have liked someone's film and they offer me a script, I accept it. Or one that comes from someone who is a friend or friend of a friend. And I read all of these. That's the least respect I can accord them.
You have recently worked with some of the loveliest young ladies - Sonam, Deepika and Katrina. Compare their acting styles.
Sonam is someone who plans out the graph of the entire scene and how she wants it to be, and she will fine tune it and get it to this point where it is exactly that, take after take. No variation, unless asked to do something different by the director. Deepika is much more spontaneous. She will vary takes, and during a take if I do something different, she will take it and run with it. I need to be a little more on my toes with her. Katrina is very independent. She doesn't need anything. Unlike me, for example, who likes that there be silence and concentration on the sets, she can soldier on through anything. People may be fighting around her;there may be drama on the sets, whatever the hell is going on... she will continue like there is nothing happening. She doesn't even need cues from her co-actor, but I do and so I make it a point to give her cues, and though she's okay without it, she appreciates that I do.
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