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‘I would put ShahRukh Khan in a situation in which he was the underdog...vulnerable’

Discussion in 'Shah Rukh Khan Dhamaal' started by Bridget, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. Bridget

    Bridget Well-Known Member

    ON THE RECORD
    Manoj Night Shyamalan Filmmaker, Scriptwriter

    ‘I would put ShahRukh Khan in a situation in which he was the underdog...vulnerable’
    Posted online: Monday, June 09, 2008 at 0028 hrs

    Filmmaker and scriptwriter Manoj Night Shyamalan is famous for his movies of mystery and fear. Less known is the fact that he also wrote the screenplay for the children’s movie Stuart Little. He was in India recently after being awarded the Padma Shri. In an interview with The Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta on NDTV 24x7’s Walk the Talk, Shyamalan speaks about his connection to India, the influence of politics on his movie-making, the origin of his middle name.

    Manoj Night Shyamalan Filmmaker, Scriptwriter
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    •My guest today needs no introduction — he’s the master of the twist in the tale, Manoj Night Shyamalan, welcome to Walk the Talk. In fact, I could have said it’s someone who gets paid for writing a screenplay three times what Sachin Tendulkar gets paid for a whole season in IPL. The Indian Premier League. . . Well, wonderful to have you in Delhi, the Padma Shri is on now, so congratulations.

    I’m so excited to be here. I can’t believe that we are here. I kind of came in and was made aware of the award just a month ago. And I decided to come and, here we are. It’s an amazing thing.

    •In India Gate.

    I know. Actually, I’ve been to India some eight-nine times since I was a little kid but we always went to the south, you know, to visit the aunts and the uncles and the grandma and grandpa and all that stuff.

    •I believe uncles and aunts and cousins and siblings — all PhDs and MDs.

    Yeah, I’m the black sheep of the family.

    •How did you get dropped out?

    I’m the disgrace to the family, the least educated one of the family.

    •But you make as much money as the rest of them (laughs) and (have) a lot more fame. But what happened? What made you go the other way?

    Well, it wasn’t something that I thought about — not doing medicine. You know, all my family is in medicine, but it was a slow thing, realising that the thing I was doing for fun as a little kid, making movies with my dad’s camera, is something that you can go to school for. It wasn’t something that — I mean, now you can go to school for film school and it seems more normal, but back then it wasn’t — it isn’t something you could learn to do as a career. And I heard about this school in New York, that it’s a film school, and I told my parents, ‘Hey, I want to go to film school.’

    •But a camera, a movie camera at the age of eight? How did that happen?

    I guess that’s weird enough in itself. But you know at the time when I was a kid, we had Spielberg (Steven) making ET.

    •You’re 1970 born, I think.

    1970. So ET was in 1982, and Jaws was 1975. Then Raiders of the Lost Ark, which was huge for me, in 1983. Spielberg was doing his thing right when I was a little kid. And when I saw those movies I said, ‘You know, that’s what I want to do!’

    •And how did your parents figure it? Because in an Indian household, for a kid who’s eight, it’s the parents who figure things.

    (Laughs) When I was eight, they didn’t think anything of it. They just thought it was a kind of funny thing that I did. So they just let me do it and then they would watch the movies and then they would giggle with the family and I would take the cousins and the neighbours and we’d make these movies and they would be terrible. They would be just absolutely horrible and everyone would just sit and laugh at them and they thought it was just funny. And then I would go and do my school work, and I was fairly good at school work, so they thought, ‘OK, he’ll become a doctor, and it’ll be just fine.’ But when I became a teenager, I got more and more serious into the filmmaking of it, and they knew I really liked it as a hobby, and I went one summer when I was 16 to go to study film, just to see what it was like and I think my parents hoped that I would come back and say ‘Not for me’.

    •This sucks!

    Well, it did suck (laughs) but still I came back and said, ‘It’s still for me.’ And they were like, ‘Ugh!’ And then I went to a film school and they’ve been worried ever since, and I think only until this week, when we came for the Padma Shri, that they are a little bit more relaxed about it all.

    •So tell me, how Indian do you feel? Or does this remind you of your Indian origins more?

    I feel a great balance between here and the life I’ve led in the west. My parents are very traditional and feel very comfortable. I don’t feel lost or anything. My wife is Indian and obviously our children are Indian.

    •Did you talk a lot of politics at the family dining table? History, politics?

    Now, we talk a lot about politics because of what’s happening in the United States, and the presidency this year.

    •No prizes for guessing which side are you on.

    (Laughs) Definitely everybody, at every dining table in the United States, is talking about the elections. It’s the first that the whole country has actually cared about what’s happening. I mean, I think our generation, we felt that politics is not really for us. It’s just those guys.

    <clip>

    •Mystery and fear are the two threads in your movies. Where does it come from?

    I think it’s tied a little bit to the politics. All my last four movies, and now The Happening, are about the fear of where the world is going.

    And you do this other thing: you pick these action guys and give them these non-action roles.

    You know why I think they are heroes is not because they have big muscles. It’s because, in a situation where terrorists take over, say, they can convey humanity, vulnerability, and, you know, they are stars. So, I take them out of that mould and let them be charismatic, charming, but don’t let them beat up anybody.

    •What would you do with ShahRukh Khan?

    Is he an action guy?


    Whatever he is, he’s The Guy.

    I’d definitely not let him beat up anybody. Because I think that would limit him too much. I definitely would put him in a situation where he was an underdog in the story. . . vulnerable.

    •ShahRukh Khan as underdog doesn’t work.

    It does work, it does work.

    •I mean not so far.


    That’s it. I’m going to do another story.

    •Right. In fact I saw some place that you said, I think you talked of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, and you said that they have the star, they starred that dude in every film. That’s Shah Rukh.

    Yeah, I keep forgetting his name and I was like, ‘Well, he’s in all the movies that I saw.’

    •You say that again and they might withdraw your Padma Shri.

    Oh really? Oh no.


    You can’t ever forget ShahRukh Khan’s name.

    ShahRukh Khan, he’s on the cover of a magazine right now, so that’s good.


    •So when do we see a stronger Indian metaphor in a Manoj Night Shyamalan movie?

    I don’t know. When it feels accurate in depicting me, as a human being, as where I am. Obviously, more and more experiences in India and it’ll naturally happen.

    •The Oscar guys haven’t been kind to you so far.

    No, the Oscar guys, they are fine you know. Only two non-white directors have ever been nominated and I’m one of them.

    •And across the next one you need an India theme movie, because India is so sexy right now.

    Oh yes, that’s true. Maybe the story of the Indian scientist who discovered something would have a better chance I think.

    Have I seen what?

    •Bachchan?

    No.

    •In a movie, you have. Amitabh Bachchan.

    Oh yes, yes, you were using shorthand, you got to say the full name.

    •I could have said the Big B.

    I definitely wouldn’t have known that.

    •Amitabh Bachchan, what do you think of him?

    Fantastic. I saw him on the news yesterday and he was doing another movie and he has such majesty about him. And I was thinking how long has he been acting? It seems like he’s now back as the centre of everything again and what an incredible longevity he’s had.

    •You see someone like him in one of your movies at some at some point?

    Definitely, he just glows when he’s onscreen. You know some people have it, it’s not something that you can think about, it’s not even about acting skills, it’s IT.

    •You could figure him out now. But tell me Manoj, before I let you go, I know it’s a question you’ve been asked a hundred times, but please tell us also, where does Night come from? I know it fits in beautifully with your brand of movies now, dark and mysterious and fearful. Tell us the history.

    <clip>
    •So what Indian names did you think of?

    I was studying the American Indian culture. And the American Indian culture is based on nature and the worship of the sky, the birds, the hawks, the ground, the earth, the rocks and all of that stuff and I find that philosophy very beautiful and really correct. That the one thing we can look up to, that we considered ourselves servants of this, the world would be a better place. And I just felt right intuitively of their worship of nature and thing and one of the names I saw was an Indian name Night, which I think was a female name, but it just appealed to me as this beautiful, resonant thing and only years later maybe I guess I realised that I was actually making movies that represents the name in such perfect way. So intuitively, at 17, I kind of had a feeling of things.
    http://www.indianexpress.com/story/320381._.html
     
  2. luxia

    luxia I'm demented...

    Re: ‘I would put ShahRukh Khan in a situation in which he was the underdog...vulnerab

    I don't know who's more irritating here - Shyamalan or the journo........:rolleyes:

    SRK 'doesn't work as an underdog'? And what was CDI? Chopped liver?
     
  3. bluey[Ru]

    bluey[Ru] Guest

    Re: ‘I would put ShahRukh Khan in a situation in which he was the underdog...vulnerab

    the shahrukh part is :rolleyes:
    but this one is funny :lol:

    Have I seen what?

    •Bachchan?

    No.

    •In a movie, you have. Amitabh Bachchan.

    Oh yes, yes, you were using shorthand, you got to say the full name.

    •I could have said the Big B.

    I definitely wouldn’t have known that.
     
  4. Pompula

    Pompula Shahrukh Fan-Girl

    Re: ‘I would put ShahRukh Khan in a situation in which he was the underdog...vulnerab

    And don't ever you forget that again!!! :tsk:
     
  5. chatranisrk

    chatranisrk Well-Known Member

    Re: ‘I would put ShahRukh Khan in a situation in which he was the underdog...vulnerab

    Gosh, I like that! :p

    I was all for Shah Rukh to work with this guy, but now, such inflated ego... Then again, Shah Rukh must be so used to deal with this kind of guys, this may be a good opportunity to get more widely known in the West, depending on the script of course...
     
  6. souad1

    souad1 New Member

    Re: ‘I would put ShahRukh Khan in a situation in which he was the underdog...vulnerab

    the only indian actor that worths to be remembered you forget his name you fool!
     
  7. lovearagorn

    lovearagorn Ullu-Club-Member

    Re: ‘I would put ShahRukh Khan in a situation in which he was the underdog...vulnerab

    the man had problems remembering SRKs name????? I can see why he s the least educated one in a whole family!!!
     
  8. sanjani

    sanjani Ullu-Club Member

    Re: ‘I would put ShahRukh Khan in a situation in which he was the underdog...vulnerab

    Manoj Night Shyamalan is famous for his movies of mystery and fear...



    :fear:... I don't like such movies... :tape:
     
  9. lovearagorn

    lovearagorn Ullu-Club-Member

    Re: ‘I would put ShahRukh Khan in a situation in which he was the underdog...vulnerab

    me neither :( I like action- what does the man see bad on action heroes? I adored SRK in DON :confused:
     
  10. shublee

    shublee ~ShahRukhaholic

    Re: ‘I would put ShahRukh Khan in a situation in which he was the underdog...vulnerab

    this guy sounds like a bimbo...
     
  11. Rajshri

    Rajshri Well-Known Member

    Re: ‘I would put ShahRukh Khan in a situation in which he was the underdog...vulnerab

    :lol:
     
  12. Poonam

    Poonam New Member

    Re: ‘I would put ShahRukh Khan in a situation in which he was the underdog...vulnerab

    Well..this is actually the transcript of the show on NDTV, so a lot of audiovisual clues are missing and purely for that, I'm willing to give Shyamalan the benefit of the doubt.

    In an earlier interview he made it quite clear he had no clue about SRK's fame.

    I know it all sounds irritating, but maybe this is how it is in the US. When SRK was in LA for Paheli's promotion, he felt it too - the complete lack of knowledge about Indian cinema out there.MNS may be of Indian origin but obviously he doesn't keep in touch with Indian matters. I have relatives in the US too who are just like this. Unfortunate, but true.
     
  13. srk-nihal

    srk-nihal Winning Hearts

    Re: ‘I would put ShahRukh Khan in a situation in which he was the underdog...vulnerab

    lol well said souad :D
     
  14. luxia

    luxia I'm demented...

    Re: ‘I would put ShahRukh Khan in a situation in which he was the underdog...vulnerab

    I know that being of Indian origin doesn't automatically mean a person has to be a fan of SRK, but I think there's a thin line between not knowing and being condescending about it. You're right, maybe it looks worse in print, maybe I'm just touchy about it - I remember one of the previous interviews when he was also asked about SRK, he said something to effect that his wife would know and later that he watched only good films...he made it sound like watching Hindi films was a silly women's thing and I resented that.
     
  15. Pakiza

    Pakiza New Member

    Re: ‘I would put ShahRukh Khan in a situation in which he was the underdog...vulnerab

    •You can’t ever forget ShahRukh Khan’s name.

    :thumb:
     
  16. JUG

    JUG Well-Known Member

    Re: ‘I would put ShahRukh Khan in a situation in which he was the underdog...vulnerab

    This Manoj guy sounds so patronizing all the time :rolleyes:
     
  17. pleasant

    pleasant Active Member

    Re: ‘I would put ShahRukh Khan in a situation in which he was the underdog...vulnerab

    ya, exactly.
     

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