Q&A: YAMI GAU­TAM

India Today - - INSIDE - --with Suhani Singh

Are peo­ple still ask­ing you ‘How’s the josh’?

I will never tire of it. I am get­ting videos on my so­cial me­dia feed, some with twoyear-olds ask­ing ‘How’s the josh’ (a di­a­logue from the film Uri: The Sur­gi­cal Strike] and re­ply­ing ‘High, Sir’. It’s just over­whelm­ing. I have hap­pily made peace with the fact that I will be asked this all year round.

Q. Did you an­tic­i­pate that Uri would be so suc­cess­ful?

I did. When I read the script, I got the in­tent with which Aditya [Dhar, film­maker] was mak­ing it and what he wanted to ex­press. He said he wanted to make a film that not just au­di­ences love but also one the army would be proud of. It’s a sen­si­tive sub­ject and he un­der­stood the re­spon­si­bil­ity. I re­mem­ber stand­ing at the air force base in Ser­bia and watch­ing the chop­pers and feel­ing proud of be­ing a part of this film.

Q. You met de­fence min­is­ter Nir­mala Sithara­man and army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat re­cently. What was their take?

We met them on Army Day. They hadn’t watched it then, but they said that peo­ple in the army had told them about how they loved the film. The Pres­i­dent and his wife loved it too. One could see they ac­tu­ally meant it.

Q. What do you say to peo­ple who call Uri: The Sur­gi­cal Strike a pro­pa­ganda film?

It’s un­fair and dis­ap­point­ing to do that to the army. We heard from peo­ple in the forces about the lev­els to which they go to self­lessly guard us. We don’t have many pa­tri­otic films that de­pict the army’s val­our. Here’s a film on a re­al­life in­ci­dent and we have tried our best to keep it as au­then­tic as we could.

Q. Would you have liked longer screen time in Uri and Batti Gul Me­tre Chalu?

In any film, you have to jus­tify your work and pres­ence in it. What’s im­por­tant is that you are bring­ing some­thing sub­stan­tial to the film. I feel I have done that, be it Batti... or Uri.

“More than the screen time, what’s im­por­tant is that you are bring­ing some­thing sub­stan­tial to the film”

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