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Only the film matters: SRK
Nikhil Dwivedi

After producing the mega blockbuster Om Shanti Om, SHAH RUKH KHAN’s production house Red Chillies has turned line producer for E. (Shool) Niwas’s new film My Name is Anthony Gonsalves. t2 finds out why from King Khan himself

How did you decide to take a break from your multi-million rupee home production and become the line producer of My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves?

When everyone on the team of this film — E. Niwas, Nikhil (Dwivedi), T-Series’s Bhushan Kumar and Sahara — decided that they wanted to make this movie, I joined in because I like to be associated with hard-working people. My company, Red Chillies, line-produced the film as the people involved in the film were new and they were handling the production for the very first time. We gave them guidance and in return, we too learnt many things. The time has come when films don’t need big budgets, they need big talent and hard work. My company learnt from E. Niwas’s team how to make a wonderful film, tell the story that you want to, but without spending too much money. Marketing doesn’t matter. Only the film matters; that is the core and everyone should aim for it.

Now you also seem to be earnestly publicising the film...

I’m basking in the glory of a wonderful film that has been made by such a talented team. I hope this film becomes the biggest hit in the history of Indian cinema. In fact, it has to, because of a certain gentleman who has a loads of goodwill attached to his name, who is one of the country’s best actors and easily my favourite, who has inspired all of us — Mithunda.

Hrishita Bhatt, Shah Rukh Khan, Mithun Chakraborty and Amrita Rao at the music launch of the film

You sound like you are very fond of Mithunda...

I have been a fan of Mithunda since my childhood, since he did Mrigaya. I was a bigger fan of his character Gun Master G9. I entered late in the film industry and by that time Mithunda hotel kholkar Ooty chale gaye the, picture nahi karte the. But he does not know that the first shooting I ever saw was of one of his films — at Juhu Circle from 9 to 12 in the night. I still remember, he came out of the car, gave the shot and left. I think my life is blessed because he also very sweetly came and did a portion in a song (Deewangi) in our film Om Shanti Om. He is a wonderful, wonderful actor.

My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves’s heroine Amrita Rao too has worked in another production of yours Main Hoon Na...

Of course I have worked with Amrita before. She is a small dynamite — small in size but big in stature. She is a great actress and a great dancer and I hope she does well for herself in the future.

What do you have to say about the new boy who plays Anthony in the film — Nikhil Dwivedi?

There is a saying in the film industry that there are five stages in the life of an actor. The first is: Who is Nikhil Dwivedi? The second is: Get me Nikhil Dwivedi. The third is: Get me a Nikhil Dwivedi type. The fourth is: Get me a younger Nikhil Dwivedi... Mithunda and I have reached this stage. And the fifth is: Who is Nikhil Dwivedi? Today Nikhil is at the first stage, but in January when the film releases everyone will say: Get me Nikhil Dwivedi.

Do you see Nikhil as a younger version of yours?

Every new actor that enters the industry should have something of his own because if he tries to be Hrithik or Salman or Shah Rukh, then he won’t gain anything. I don’t think anyone should be like Mithunda or like Shah Rukh. I think every actor should have his own identity. Mithunda was a very different actor — he began his career with Mrigaya and then did a James Bond-ish film and made a name for himself. I can assure you that even today there are people who are better than him, taller than him, shorter than him, better looking than him, but there will never be another Mithunda.

What do you think about the title of the film?

It is a brilliant title, there is lyricism in the title, there is a song of this title, there is a little naughtiness in the title. When E. Niwas and Nikhil came up to me and told me about the title, I was wishing that the film would not be made and I would be able to take the title. But these guys worked very hard and they made the film.

Doesn’t one think of Mr Bachchan when we hear the name Anthony Gonsalves?

Obviously, yes! Mujhe bhi Amitji hi yaad aate hai. I think this title is a tribute to Amitji.

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