Bigg Boss could have been the ideal platform through which you could have directly connected with your audience. What stopped you from being part of the upcoming season?
In Bigg Boss, everyone is pitted against each other, they fight, argue and then you’re also given tasks. They play with you mentally. I didn’t want to get trapped in that zone. They give you some money but by Allah’s grace I don’t need much money. So, I thought why should I get caged? Who likes being caged? Everyone likes a free life. That’s fun, you know.
You prefer not to deal with mental pressure?
Qaid hone mein mazaa nahin hai (there’s no fun in being caged). I have been caged once in Aamir’s house. I don’t intend to get caged again. I want to live free and flow like water.
Salman Khan would have been your aid in Bigg Boss. He knows you and could have looked after you?
I’m not a baby anymore, that someone needs to take care of me. Anyway, whoever has participated in Bigg Boss, where have their careers gone? Nowhere. Nothing is worth your freedom. I don’t want to do it only for the money. I earn my money through other sources.
I was offered a few projects, which I refused because I was not getting my price. By God’s grace I am in a position where I can refuse a project if it doesn’t interest me or the amount being offered to me is not worth it. And how much money can you earn? Where will you take that money to? Money is important but that is not the only thing I choose to work for. I look at it from all angles. For instance, at Bigg Boss if I have to trade my freedom for money then it’s not worth it. Freedom is bigger than money.
Actors are being blamed for their prices. The project cost increases because the actors are asking for huge sums of money. What is your take on this?
As far as I am concerned, I don’t charge in crores. And no one will pay me either. In the case of other actors, if their prices are making the projects over budget, then it’s not worth it. Secondly, the image of all actors has taken a beating. Unki pol khul gayi hai. Galat kaam limelight mein aa gaye hain (The cat’s out of the bag. Misdeeds are instantly highlighted now). They should correct their image first and reduce their prices too.
Aamir Khan got flak at the time of Laal Singh Chaddha’s release for a comment he had made a few years ago. Do you think it was right of him to apologise?
Yes, it was right to apologise. No person knows everything in life. There’s no harm in apologizing and correcting yourself. You become a better human being after that. He should have apologised immediately after that thing came out, not when his film was releasing. That seems opportunistic. But if someone doesn’t realize that they might have hurt someone then I don’t know about that. Because you don’t know when realization dawns upon someone.
You are quite frank and speak openly. How does your mother react to your franktalk?
My mother has never said anything to me. She’s never said, ‘why did you say something?’. Why will anyone say anything if I’m speaking the truth?
Do you live in your family home or do you stay separately?
I stay in the family home at Bella Vista.
Your life has been a rollercoaster. Has anyone approached you to make a movie on your life? Or do you want to tell your story someday?
I will tell my story someday. That day will come. I will bring it to life through a film or a web series.
Are you looking out for more work?
I am meeting people for projects. I realized my potential as a director after Faactory (Faisal’s last release). I am meeting people for acting jobs, as well as writing scripts and trying to build a project. Hopefully, things will shape up.
Are you trying to get married and settle down again?
Who will marry an old man like me? Maybe I’ll find someone my age. Like I told you, when we spoke last time, I want to first earn some money and get settled. Some things are looking promising and I am getting work here and there. Let’s focus on work first and then things will follow in life.
Do you have any plans to remake your father Tahir Hussain’s films?
I don’t have any plans to remake any of those films. Aamir has got the rights to all those films.
Are you on talking terms with Aamir or not?
Of course, I am on talking terms with him. We meet and greet each other on occasions. But the thing is that he’s so busy in his life and I am struggling in my busy life.
Did you watch Laal Singh Chaddha?
I watched it. Not immediately, but I did watch it. I felt that the film was good in parts. I felt that Aamir should have selected a better script, especially because he was coming with a film after 4 years. I liked the film in parts, but not completely. With Aamir and other good actors you expect them to do too good work. They should blow your mind. But that didn’t happen with Laal Singh Chaddha, unfortunately. It was not a “wow!” film.
What do you have to say about the boycott Bollywood trends?
I think Boycott Bollywood is a necessary movement. Because after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, all the evils of Bollywood came to light. The world got to know the dirty side of Bollywood. And how much arrogance is there in the industry. So, they’re paying a price for it and they will continue to do so. The entire system has to change. Because only a few people were ruling Bollywood like dictators. That is not right. Creativity should flow. Anyone can be creative. You are trying to monopolise the whole business. It doesn’t work like that.
I think it is a very necessary movement. Right now, they’re suffering but a few years down the line there will be a change. The industry will take a new shape with new people coming in. And that is necessary. It’s like a revolt 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 types. Like they don’t give opportunities. The theaters favor the stars. A new actor’s films don’t get screens to show his film. 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 films that can be sold out).” They should give some opportunity for newcomers to showcase their talent. There should be a quota for all types of films to get screens. Otherwise, this is corruption. You’re monopolizing. Then they misuse girls and now even boys too. Why do you want to misuse your power? God is above us all. You will have to pay a price.
Businessmen used to come with money thinking they will make a good film with love and happiness. But these guys cheated them. Kitnon ke ghar barbad hue hain (So many men were ruined). All this corruption functions at different levels.
Do you think Bollywood stars should cut their prices down?
The star system has to end. Today, films of all the big stars have flopped. Where is their credibility? The era of superstars has ended for the time being. Maybe a new superstar will emerge after a few years.
Apart from corruption, there’s no commitment to the work. There should be commitment to your work. They don’t give time to their films. Tapasya nahin hai (There’s no dedication). Why do you still love old songs and films? Because they put in their time, effort and sincerity to make films. These days films and songs come and disappear. Because it’s a work of shortcuts. How will this industry survive like this? The whole industry has to pull up their socks and go through a makeover.