Excerpts from the interview to
Q. From loving the family to loving your
friend...quite a leap, huh?
A. At the end of it, it's all about loving. Whom
you love and how is a personal choice. You've a right to choose
whom you love. "Dostana" addresses itself in a comic
way to the individual's right to choose. And I fully believe in
Q. Your friends and family watched the
film earlier this week. Their reactions?
A. Trial shows are superb indications of what's
to come. Much preferable than premieres which I never have. I
called the people I love. Some loved "Dostana", others
hated it. I take neither praise nor criticism to heart.
Q. What did your mom think of "Dostana"
and its gay jokes?
A. My mom loved it. Because she loves me and
my director Tarun Mansukhani. Also because she was amused. She's
a happy person. And she likes happy films. "Dostana"
is a happy film...Happy and gay.
Q. Are you delighted by the way people
have taken to Abhishek and John's gay jokes?
A. I've to say this. It's very brave of Abhishek
and John to put themselves into this gay situation and not be
embarrassed or be self-conscious. They've given 300 percent of
themselves without flinching. More power in the industry to this
kind of positive thinking.
More than myself I'm delighted for my director
Tarun Mansukhani. He has been with us from the start. He's a funny
guy. And the film isn't just about gay jokes. It definitely puts
out a subtle message on homosexuality.
Q. Which is?
A. I think the whole question of gay acceptance
is prevalent all over the world. It's just a myth that in the
West people accept homosexuality more readily than they do here.
I feel the gay community should be given the respect it deserves.
"Dostana" is a funny though not offensive take on the
Nowhere does the film offend people of any sexual
orientation. We've treated the theme with great dignity. We've
taken homosexuality to an amusing level, but not at the cost dignity.
I do believe audiences are far more evolved than we give them
Q. Do you think you can swing it?
A. I'm asked if our actors can do "Brokeback
Mountain". Well, Abhishek and John have done "Dostana".
It's an equally brave film.
Q. Did you ever feel it could backfire?
A. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I didn't
just want to push the envelope I wanted to tear it. Even my "Kabhi
Alvida Na Kehna" pushed the envelope. I made a Rs.50 crore
(Rs.500 million) film on infidelity. Now I've made a Rs.50 crore
film with homosexual overtones. Anyone who calls me a bubblegum
filmmaker now needs a serious reality check.
Q. What about John's skin show?
A. It goes with the film's mood. Any exposure
out of context is vulgar. If you saw "Dhoom 2", everyone
wore minimalist clothes because they were in Rio. My characters
in "Dostana" are in Miami. It's the partying capital
of the world. My trio exudes a sex appeal in their body exposure.
I think Priyanka and John are highly aesthetic in their beachwear.
Q. John has exposed more skin than any
other leading man.
A. He's got the body, why not flaunt it? If you've
a beautiful house don't you invite guests to see it? If you've
made a film you're proud of, don't you want audiences to watch
it? If John has a great body why not show it?
Q. You've proved your power as a filmmaker
by marketing "Dostana" so well.
A. There's no such thing as a powerful filmmaker.
There's only a powerful film. All of us filmmakers are sailing
in the same boat. I'd like to say Tarun Mansukhani is the real
star of "Dostana".