Days after his appointment as FTII chairman, Anupam Kher, the National Award winning actor and doyen of Bollywood spoke exclusively to WION on Saturday.
In a candid interview, Kher spoke about his vision for India’s premiere film institute and the controversy surrounding his predecessor Gajendra Chahuhan.
The Saaransh actor said that not only he is the right candidate for the job, but he also has time for his new role.
“I don’t need to do a 9 to 5 job at the FTII. In fact, you can be in institute for 24 hours and do nothing. I will speak to the students and figure about the issues, which are important for the institute,” Kher said. “I’m a self-made man and I have the right to head FTII,” he added.
On his vision for FTII, he said that he doesn’t want to have any pre-conceived notions before taking up the job. “Any institute will; have its set of challenges and I’m ready for it. I want to take FTII to a glorious future and I want only to be a guide and source of inspiration to the students,” he said.
Talking about his predecessor Gajendra Chauhan, Kher said that he was the first person to speak about him.
“I spoke about it (that Gajendra Chauhan was not the right candidate) but today I don’t want to go into details as he has relinquished the office. The position of chairman requires a certain world view and I felt strongly about it.”
The Padma Bhushan awardee who also runs an acting institute by the name ‘Actor Prepares’ said, “I’m a teacher and want to focus on getting the things done. I’m an optimist and I only focus on positive. I will cross the bridge when it comes.”
Kher who has acted in more than 500 films has a strong opinion about Indian cinema. He feels Indian cinema must reflect the modern India as the country is not about snake charmer.
“We must move away from India’s cliche image. Our cinema is now limited to song and dance”.
Speaking about filmmakers from small towns and films on small towns, Kher said, “Big cities have been consumed. There is some plasticity around it. Small towns today look real, earthy and believable and have brought freshness to the cinema. The characters from small town looks believable.”
He also added that when he works abroad he makes sure that he doesn’t get cast himself in roles that stereotype India.
The 62-year-old, best remembered for his stellar performances in ‘Daddy’, ‘Saraansh’, has held the post of chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification and the National School of Drama.