Kamal Haasan: 'Most good films should be remade'

Mumbai, Oct. 21 -- Four-time National Award-winning south actor Kamal Haasan, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the ongoing 15th Mumbai Film Festival. In this interview, he talks about whether he truly deserves such an honour at this stage and why a film's content, and not it's box-office success, should be the criteria for a remake.     

How does it feel to be given a Lifetime Achievement Award at this stage in your career?     

I know many talented people, so the first question that came to my to mind was, 'Why me?' I tried to convince myself so that when I go to receive the award I know I am worthy of it. But when I went to the venue and heard the applause, doubts crept in on whether I deserve all that.     

Most people get these awards towards the end of their careers. Do you think this came early?     

A few people did say that "you are too young to get a Lifetime Achievement Award". All I said was, "Please don't take it away from me, I will deserve it soon, if not today." (laughs)   

You took a break after Hey Ram (2000) and before Vishwaroop (Hindi version of Vishwaroopam) this year. Now we will see you in Vishwaroop 2. Are you going to do more Hindi films now?     

There were (a few) films in between, like Mumbai Express (2005), but they didn't catch the audience's imagination. I want to do more Hindi films. Of all the films I write, most can be watched by the rest of the country as well. Right now I am working on something called Bitter Chocolate. I would love to make it in Hindi. But right now, I am only making it in Tamil.     

How do you see your daughter Shruti's career shaping up in Bollywood?     

Like any father, I am proud of her. My father wanted me to get a law degree and become an IAS officer. Yet he was proud of me because of the accolades I received in this profession. I would have loved it if she became an artiste and that's what she has turned out to be. I am a critic of any work, including mine, and I am fan of any work, including mine. It just has to stand up to appraisal. Some friends have told me that she had said I am her inspiration and she looked up to me. That was bound to happen - she was two and a half feet and I was five feet eight inches (laughs). But now she has grown up. Hopefully, she won't ever look down on me.     

So many south films are being remade in Hindi and are even doing well at the box-office. Do you think Bollywood movies have the potential to be remade in regional film industries?     

Most good films should be remade, but that's not how it's done. Only the films that are successful at the box-office are selected. I think aesthetic work should be translated from one language to another.

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