"You need to be criticized to survive" - Sajid Nadiadwala

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By Faridoon Shahryar, Bollywood Hungama News Network

"You need to be criticized to survive," says Sajid Nadiadwala reacting to apprehensions about his leading lady Kareena Kapoor's acting skills. In the second part of this exclusive interview with Bollywood Hungama, Sajid dares to give a frank and honest opinion about the Ashutosh Gowariker-Sajid Khan big fight at the recently held Star Screen Awards. Also, we cull out more details about the ugly incident a few days ago when he and his wife were held hostage at gun point. The lavish producer even talks about his future productions and the possible worldwide premiere of Kambakht Ishq.

Talking about Kareena Kapoor, she was fantastic in Jab We Met but she wasn't up to the mark in Tashan and Golmaal Returns as an actress. Will we see her rediscovering herself as an actress in Kambakht Ishq?
I feel an actor who works like this has a long life as compared to an actor who is only peaking and peaking. People gave hits, then deliver a flop, are criticized, and then they give a hit again; such people stay for the next ten years. People who only peak are dangerous because they will suddenly reach the top and then they are nowhere. You need to be criticized to survive 15 years. You need failure because I always feel success has destroyed more people than failure.

Do we get to see Kareena, the fine actress in Kambakht Ishq?
Ya ya of course. She has acted well in every film. It's the director's problem, also script's problem! She tries her level best. If the script is faulty what can an actor do? A person can't take the whole thing on his/her own shoulder. He/she needs a partner. I mean she has done a good job in all her films, she was very good in the films that you are naming, may be the film was not nice.

What is so special about the director of Kambakht Ishq, Sabir Khan that you entrusted him with such a big budgeted film?
He has worked with me in Mujhse Shaadi Karogi. He was the chief assistant director. He designed the film totally with me and he is in total sink with me. He understands my taste and he got an immense power on his technical team. He is very well read and above all he is a wonderful human being. He has done a good job. When you plan a film, we don't plan it big. It just keeps on happening. I have signed three directors, three new directors Shirish Kundar, Sajid Khan and Sabir. The failure of Jaaneman didn't stop me from making a big film again with Sajid and Heyy Babyy was a big hit.

There's a love triangle between Akshay, Kareena and Denise Richards. We've also seen images of the kiss between Akshay and Denise. But Akshay hasn't been open about kissing on screen earlier...
There is a triangle between Denise Richards, Akshay and Kareena. I would not like to open a window to the film by discussing anything but it's an interesting film. Summer time, IPL is over and you have a 29th May release then as a viewer I would love to go after college or school holidays to watch Kambakht Ishq. It's a very positive film. It has got energy, extra ordinary music... it's a beautiful commercial film which people would go to enjoy with their families.

Sajid Nadiadwala Talking about your other films, there's Sajid Khan's Houseful. In fact Sajid has openly stated that it's going to be the biggest hit of 2009. What is the film all about?
He wanted to make his first film as a comedy but he kept it on hold because he thought people should take him seriously first. So, he worked on a film which had emotions. To make a film with a baby is not a joke. It's too easy to watch a two and a half hour film about a child but to shoot with the baby isn't a child's play. There are restrictions in Australia where you can shoot only 11 hours in a week with kids. It was very difficult. You have six or eight babies on the set, sometimes when we wanted to shoot with them they used to go to sleep and when we wanted them to sleep they were wide awake. It's not that easy, now Sajid can do anything. He said my next film must be entertaining as that's what the audience wants from me. I want to make such a mad film that people would not be sitting on their chairs. Eventually we decided lets go for an out and out comedy film.

Would you like to say something about what happened between him and Ashutosh Gowariker at the Star Screen Awards?
I'm not being diplomatic or politically correct but one thing is definitely there that both are very wonderful human beings. I know Ashu very well and we had some amazing dinners between me, Sajid and Ashu. He (Ashutosh) is a wonderful human being and definitely he is hurt. Sajid has done what he has done all his life for the last ten years while Ashu has done what he has done all his life that is he has spoken when he needs to. Both are right. Now, the situation occurred on a public platform and that was wrong. Sajid has been doing the same thing for the last ten years and he has been appreciated so much. He is successful and that's why the channels call him. I don't think anybody takes him seriously, they enjoy what he says because he says it from the heart and he is basically an industry man. Now you are talking about Ashu; if it was some other director I would have said that he is wrong but because I know this guy, he must be hurt definitely. You need courage to come on the stage and talk like this. It's not a publicity stunt. Sajid understood it and immediately called him the next day. He has been more then magnanimous. I am so proud of Sajid. He is such a big star in his own way but he called up the next day that if I have hurt somebody then I am very sorry, my intention was not to hurt anyone.

A few days ago there was a tragic incident in your personal life when a watch man in your residential building held you and your wife on gun point for quite sometime. What really happened?
When we came back that night, he actually pulled the gun on my wife and I didn't know where he got it from. He was there for 40 minutes with the gun on her head. I thank Allah that things went well. We spoke out that whole crises but one thing that I am very proud of is the way the cops reacted the next day. There were about two hundred cops at my home and they nailed him in 48 hours. I am so proud of the cops. Sometime we are so rude to them in the way we write the scripts and we have one pattern of critcising the cops but I remember four teams were working on the job and for forty eight hours these guys didn't sleep. One flew down to Lucknow, somebody flew to Bihar. Mumbai police is unbelievable, the way they reacted to the situation was amazing. It was a very difficult case to crack since we didn't have a finger print, no photograph nothing so hats off to the cop. Also people like us in a third world country we need to be a bit careful because the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer so when this kind of margin increases it's got to be frustrating. I met this watch man in jail. I thought I would be very angry after the whole situation but when I met him, I actually felt sad for him because you know it's all because of money. We need to be little sensitive with the people around. It was a new guy, maybe if he was working for the next six month he wouldn't have done that because all my staff are there with me for the last 25 years, they will never ever think of doing such a thing.

Sajid Nadiadwala I believe you're also planning a premiere of Kambakht Ishq and you're inviting Sylvester and other Hollywood cast members to show it to the world that Mumbai is a safe and wonderful city especially after 26/11.
I will not have premieres at all ever in my life because I feel the last two three days are the most sensitive time for the producer. I am not in a mood wearing the suit and standing outside the theatre at all at that given time and welcoming people. I have never done that and I will never do it. But because it involves foreign actors I feel that these people should also come to India and see what India is all about. It's not what it is always portrayed as. Mumbai is a beautiful city. It's a city where so many films are made. It's a city where people know how to fight back. I feel all these people should also be given the chance to see what India and Mumbai are all about. Sylvester is shooting for his next film Expendables which he is directing as well at that time. It should end by 22nd of May. If it ends by 22nd or 24th then he will be here by 27th of May.

Finally, what are your future projects after Houseful and Kambakht Ishq?
I am at present shooting for only these two films. I am making a film with Siddharth Anand. His Yash Raj contract is over. We are starting a film with him in August. The star cast should be finalized in a week's time. It's a different film, it's an interesting film. It has got its own moments; you can't categorize it now otherwise it sends a wrong signal. But by the first week of April we can declare everything. It's an interesting star cast.