When it comes to celebrity interviews, things have definitely changed quite a lot in the last decade or two. We’re currently living in a time where public image is of utmost importance. And actors no longer open up about their personal opinions the way they did back when social media was not a concern. Interviews with celebrities now days are full of diplomatic answers.
Cancel culture definitely has a lot to do with this. And so we’ve got a list of interviews from a simpler time, when Bollywood stars didn’t shy away from having an unpopular opinion or saying whatever they felt. So here’s a glimpse of what honest interviews meant:
1. In this interview, Smita Patil called out how women are often objectified to market films. She was so ahead of her time for saying something like this without care for how she might be perceived in the film industry.
Hindustan ke audience par ye baat force ki gayi hai ki dekhiye ji iss (film) mein toh sex hai. Isme toh aadhe nange shareer hain auraton ke, toh aap film dekhne ke liye aaiye. Ye ek aisi attitude ban gayi hai jo bohot galat hai.
2. Amjad Khan was asked why his film Teri Maang Sitaron Se Bhar Doon didn’t work at the box office in this interview, back in 1987. He clearly told the media that films that may not have substantial content end up earning quite a lot at the box office, because perhaps, that’s what the masses liked, or the majority thought was entertainment.
Kutton ki, ghodon ki filmein chal jaati hain. Kutte aake court main gawaai de jaate hain, film chal jaati hai. Saanp uth ke transistor chhupa deta hai, kutta video camera chhupaa deta hai, woh filmein chal jaati hain.
3. When Tabu spoke about how despite putting in equal amounts of work, women are often paid much less than their male counterparts. And how unfortunately, women are often cast in films for their appearances, and not for the talent they bring to the table.
4. And then, when Aishwarya Rai gave everyone a clear insight into how Bollywood often functioned in Rendevouz With Simi.
5. Here in this interview, Nasiruddin Shah clearly said that he didn’t think Amitabh Bachchan had done any good films until then. And he didn’t try being diplomatic, he simply spoke his mind. Which is a rare sight today.
6. When Rishi Kapoor had commented on the major divide between art films and commercial films back in the late eighties, he really made the viewers think twice about why art and commercial cinema were at war with one another.
Myth hai humaare mulk mein. Zyadatar har jagaah ye hi hai ki jo picture samajh na aaye, usse award diya jaaye. Toh aise hi mazaak sa bana hua hai ki jo humaari picture flop hoti hain, hum boltein hain, bhai award winning picture thi. Art film thi, isliye chali nahi.
7. In this interview with Pritish Nandy, Dimple Kapadia spoke about the limited definition our film industry held of a ‘woman centric film.’
Well, they’ve just decided that a woman oriented script means that there has to be a rape and she has to take revenge. I mean that’s it. If anyone comes and tells me that we’ve got a female oriented script, I know at once what he’s talking about.
8. Back in 1998, when Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das’ Fire had released, it sparked a religious debate and Shabana Azmi definitely didn’t back down from sharing a political/religious opinion.
9. When Saif Ali Khan was pretty darn honest about about who he was as a person. A reporter interviewing him asked him who his favourite poet was and the actor decided to say, to hell with scripted public appearances and just gave an interview in his inimitable style.
Yeh meri dadi padhti thi aur mere abba padhte hai. Yeh koi umar hai in sab cheezon ko padhne ka?
I low-key still want this to be the norm.