Pakistani Showbiz

India is more accepting of Pakistani actors: Aanand L Rai


After Dishoom was not allowed to release in Pakistani cinemas, Aanand L Rai’s production Happy Bhag Jayegi is the latest flick to be banned by the Pakistani censor board.

According to the Hindustan Times, when asked about the said ban, the director said he felt “sad for the people of Pakistan.” According to him, “They have been deprived of so many things because of political pressures.”

He adds, “I feel proud to be a part of a country, where I have the freedom to express myself.”

Upon being asked if this implied that India is more accepting of Pakistani talent, he answered “Yes, definitely.” The Raanjhanaa director adds that people in the Hindi entertainment industry “understand creativity better”.

“But I don’t think we can compare the two countries,” he adds.

The director of Tanu Weds Manu Returns has cast Shah Rukh Khan for his next film, where he has SRK playing the role of a dwarf. When this caused one to ask his opinion on directors casting the Khans in stereotypical roles he explains, “No, the Khans have done varied roles throughout their career. They tapped into their talent. They are intelligent and understand the process of film-making. It’s the audience that demands that SRK be shown in a romantic role or Salman be seen in an action-oriented one.”

Aanand L Rai says he “understands” his ordinariness and the fact that he has “become a director with some difficulty”. “But I love telling stories. I enjoy the process, and I don’t want to complicate film-making. I want to keep it simple, and I want to be known as a teller of small stories,” he says.

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