Om Puri wants to bridge the gap between India and Pakistan
WE GOT OUR monthly dose of laughter, thanks to legendary Indian actor Om Puri who came to our office on Monday evening for the promotion of his Pakistani film Actor in Law. He had us in splits. The 65-year-old actor seemed really happy about his latest film that releases in the UAE this weekend. "This is the first time I have worked in a Pakistani film. I have seen a couple of their films before, the first one was Khuda Ke Liye, which was released in India and it did great business. It was a very mature film except for one thing which I didn't like - Naseeruddin Shah's beard . Then, I saw Bol, which was an amazing film. It had wonderful performances by the entire cast and crew. The movie was flawless. I would say it's on par with any good American or Spanish film. The good news is that Pakistani cinema is maturing day by day.
This team (Actor in Law ) also has done a great job. The story can be understood by everybody. We are not trying to preach anything. It's a very human film and apart from wonderful performances, it also has something meaningful to say," the veteran actor said.
He has never promoted any Indian film before, but he was more than happy to do it for this film because the cast and crew had become like a family to him.
"I have been hanging around with this crew for around 10 days. I have done 300 films and I have never done promotions before except for three films in the West - East is East, My Son The Fanatic and The City of Joy. This is my contribution to have a healthy relationship with India and Pakistan," said Puri.
The actor also added that he would make sure that he will work in their next film as well.
"The moment I find out that they have announced a film. I will immediately get a visa, fly there and stand in front of the camera. If they try to move me away, then I will call the international media! I know the Pakistani consulate people very well now. I went to the embassy for the first time recently. They told me, 'forget about the visa, first, come and have tea with us.' Then I spoke to them for around an hour and met many people from the office. I got my visa within an hour!"
Om Puri clearly was in high spirits during his visit to the Khaleej Times office, so much so that he dominated the entire conversation. Both Fahad Mustafa and Mehwish Hayat didn't get much of a chance to open up - except laugh uproariously at the veteran actor's jokes. Which left us also in splits - even after the group had left the building. We wish the ministers from both India and Pakistan would learn a thing or two about diplomacy from the legendary actor.
So, who is a threat to Salman, Aamir and Shah Rukh Khan?
This young man Fahad is already a star but after this film, he will be a megastar. I will try my best to see that this gentleman is not able to work in India because he is a threat to the entire three Khans - Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir.
'I need to tone down her attitude'
Talking about Mehwish, she is very talented but I have to fix her a bit. I need to tone down her attitude. When I sent this film to a few of my friends in India, they were inquiring about her good performance. I don't want to give her a lot of credit because we have already pampered her too much. But honestly, she has worked very hard for the film. Ignore my comments, I love her and I wish her all the best.
Om on director Nabeel Qureshi: I have adopted the director of this film. He is coming to India with me. He is a phenomenon. I don't know why he keeps giving the role to established actors like Fahad. He can play the lead role while directing the film, like Farhan Akhtar. He is the Farhan Akhtar of Pakistan. He can sing, write, dance, play the guitar and he can be a stand-up comedian as well.
Guess who called me 'An old man'??
There is one gentleman who is missing (from the promotions) and he has gone for a hair transplant. He is a young lawyer who has been the backbone of this unit. He is the underdog of the unit, he gets their kicks and slaps but he also gets a lot of hugs towards the end of the day. Yesterday, he called me 'An old man' at the airport in public. I told him, "Look at your hair and look at my hair. You don't have a single strand of hair on your head and look at my wild bunch." And now he's off for a hairtransplant!