How would you describe Firangi?
He’s a very slippery character. He has absolutely no conscience. He’s also very funny, which is why he’s charming. But he’s a survivor, and has his own agenda which he’s constantly following… so he’s a great character!
You’ve made a lot of films with powerful social messages, is this the same?
No, it’s purely popcorn. [laughs] I’m sorry if you’re disappointed. But I’ve done a lot of serious films so I think it will be fun to see me in a film that is pure entertainment.
What was it like working with Amitabh Bachchan for the first time?
It was one of the most exciting things for me, because I grew up watching his films. Every day we’d shoot, I would be sitting next to him and just enjoy the moment. I was like a little kid.
Lagaan is one of three Hindi films to be nominated for an Oscar. Were you disappointed it didn’t win?
I’m not someone who’s really crazy about awards. What makes me happy is the fact that people connect with my films, and I’m able to reach people’s hearts. That’s what really excites me – the potential to touch people’s lives. JF