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  1. #1
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    Dec 2008


    Default Why make a star out of him: Manjrekar

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    Mahesh Manjrekar

    What’s your reaction to the news of your Slumdog Millionaire co-star Ajit Pandey, who played Javed Goon and was arrested for allegedly extorting
    and threatening to kill a casting director by posing as brother of underworld don Chhota Shakeel?

    I think the media is giving too much of importance to this guy. I don’t even remember him from the film! I couldn’t recognise his face even after seeing his pictures in the media. What’s the point in raising such a hue and cry over his act? Why try to make a star out of him now? He sure seems to be getting his 15 minutes of fame.

    Why is it that you were hardly seen along with the rest of the cast when SM won all the awards? Was it a deliberate act?
    I deliberately stayed away since I wanted the real stars to get their due. It’s not fair to relegate the children to the background and steal the attention that they truly deserve for the film. I did a small role and I know that nobody would have cared so much for the film if it hadn’t won that many awards. That’s why I decided to stay away from the fanfare and let the praise go to the children and the film’s screenplay.

    Post-SM, why is it that one hasn’t seen you in front of the camera?
    I’ve cut down on my acting assignments post-SM. I want to devote more time to my children and also write films. I’m already very busy with my Marathi films and my production house. My next acting assignment would be Salman Khan’s Wanted. Somewhere down the line, I’ve realized that it’s better to do Marathi films than get into the Bollywood rat race. I made a film called Mee Shivaji Raje Bhosle Boltoy. Despite being a regional
    film, it raked in Rs 20 crore. The Hindi industry is a lot more insecure than any other regional film industry. So why be a part of that insecurity? People still talk about me having directed Astitva. Should I take to directing Hindi films, I wouldn’t want to restrict myself to potboilers.

    So when do you start your next project?
    I’m directing a Marathi film now, the literal translation of whose title would mean To Hell With Education. I think the whole education system in India is completely flawed. I start a Hindi film in November about the growing up pangs of children. Today’s parents and teachers are more confused about what they want than the kids themselves. They are trying to dictate terms to children, who obviously don’t like it at all.

    Any international films?
    n No. I am not running after international projects. Rather, I’d want my Marathi films to be picked up internationally.

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