Q. According to the critics, the fragrance of Khusboo failed reaching people. In other words, Khushboo didn't get good reviews, what went wrong?
A. They have damaged the prospects of the film miserably. Reviews never make a film Hit or Flop. I had not shown the film to anyone before release, then how come they take a call if the movie is good or bad. So by giving poor shows, the multiplexes want to monopolize and finish off single producers like us. But I won’t let that happen.
Q. The industry and the distributors have this very strong feeling that a film with newcomers never works…
A. With newcomers you have to be extra careful to bring out the best work from them. Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan wouldn't have been there if every person starts switching him off from newcomers. Even Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan had a string of flops in the initial part of their careers. Abhishek had nearly 12 flops early in his career.
Q. You had a big hand in launching Manisha Koirala in Bollywood. But do you feel that Manisha has messed up her career today?
A. I agree with your views. Manisha was a fine artist. She has messed up her career in her own way. Every person in life does make mistakes and Manisha is also one of them.
Q. What's your take on issues like piracy and the new technologies which are eating into the business of films?
A. I think you cannot stop piracy which is going on free of charge. If people stop seeing pirated VCDs and DVDs then piracy would be killed quite automatically. But in our country with the level of corruption it's quite a challenge. New technology has helped in fighting piracy. You can see a new movie on the same day even in a village, so in that sense technology has provided a solution to fight against piracy.
Q. Who are your favourite actor and actress who you have worked with?
A. I loved working with Mumtaz. She has always been my favorite. She is a nice human being also. Another great person is Pran saab who has given his everything for this industry. I am grateful to them for providing me with the opportunity to work with them.
Q. Who is your inspiration to make films and who does give you perspiration while making films?
A. I was inspired to make films since Class 5. I used to bunk school and go to Jaihind cinema (Lalbaugh) to watch movies. I made a film banner right during my school days, in fact. I used to visualize my wife (my girlfriend) during my school days as the heroine and me as a hero (laughs).
Q. Who do you think is the most promising newcomer? Harman, Nakuul, Adhyayan or actors in your Khusboo…
A. I believe, even if your first film flops, it doesn't make any difference. You must remember that Akshay Kumar (Deedar), Rani Mukherji (Mehndi), Urmila Matondakar (Aa Gale Lag Ja) and even Kajol (Bekhudi) had a flop debut. So you never know who will succeed and when? I am pretty confident of both my debutants Rishi Rehan and Avantika.
Q. What are the future projects which you are associated with?
A. I am planning Aankhen 2 and am also planning to make a film with Anil Sharma based on the true story of Kandahar Hijack of Flight 814.