Q&A: YAMI GAUTAM
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”