What makes a film successful?

The magic is the message. The story is the message.

The film I am trying to make today is not a commercial one but a narrative one. The film is not a film about what a film is, but what it means.

I am a storyteller. I like to tell stories that move people. I don’t like to focus on who I am, how strong I am, what can I bring to that role, how it is done, who is the best actor in that role, who can create that environment, and how he/she goes towards that. I am more interested in the journey between that.

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How did you end up going on that journey so many years ago? A series of unfortunate events… an old teacher of mine, having retired, and living alone in his house that was a small bungalow in India, gave me a huge shock when he found his house empty for a long time. He called me, he said, “We will need furniture from this old house in my place, and we will make you a new one”. This was the only time when he did not have an excuse. He used to buy furniture out of the junk bin of the local shop and he would take me around the little villages of that part of India on my bike and I could find these small bungalows. I lived on this. His house was small, but it had a lot of history. It also helped me to make films, because I wanted to have an identity and I wanted to be part of something in my heart-a part of something that mattered. To be an actor that had something in his heart.

What did you feel you learned from him? My father used to say… “He was like an engineer. He knew which way to go, he was always thinking ahead”. I am so glad to know that. So that when I was going on the road, someone was looking out for me, was always thinking of me, always looking to find me a place to go. And that’s how I became someone that people look up to, who they would say, “This kid is a star”. That’s how a lot of stuff started building.

So many people are saying that you’ve not been able to make films recently. What has happened to you that you can’t get the time and focus you wanted? Honestly, not knowing what I wanted to do I was spending a lot of my time in the studios, and I was making