This article was last updated on June 18, 2022
"Hollywood is just f*cking Bollywood. Imagine a film like The Jungle Book can finish off Fan," said the inimitable Ram Gopal Varma in a 'Frankly-Speaking' sort of no-holds-barred video interview with Bollywood Hungama's Content Head (Broadband) Faridoon Shahryar. RGV talks unabashedly about movies, his love and fear of women, why the physicality in women attracts him, why he doesn't like being praised, his tryst with 'friend' Karan Johar and a digital camera, what advice would he like to give to SRK, Salman, Aamir and yes to KRK too. It is a must read interview…start to finish!
How does it feel to be back in business? Everyone is talking about the promo of your film Veerappan…
I spent the last 2 years in jungles with surviving gang members of Veerappan. And I wanted to see how it's like to be in the jungles. I ran away from the big, bad animals of Bollywood especially, people like you, Faridoon!
We have had some great interviews. The best part about you is that even if I criticize you, you won't mind. You also never ask me to delete portions from our interview.
I have a problem with anyone who praises me, because, it's very boring! If someone praises me, I feel like I am losing my grip. If you say that the worst decision of your career is to work with RGV that would be more interesting!
Lisa Ray looks very different and beautiful in the saree avatar in Veerappan…
That's because I think all beautiful women have a lot of evil inside and God compensates by giving them so much of exterior beauty. And I want to bring that evil out of Lisa in the film. For me, she looks scarier than Veerappan in the film. Veerappan any ways looks brutal with his moustache and expressions. Lisa, on the other hand, looks so cute and innocent, but something is going on in her mind. And it's the mind which is very scary.
What do you exactly mean when you say that 'Khallas', the item song featuring Zarine Khan, 'sexifies' Veerappan?
I wanted Zarine to almost personify the spirit of Veerappan with his very hard expressions. But the song had to be shot with a certain sexual content. So 'sexifying Veerappan' was a term that was right to mix sexy and Veerappan in my opinion.
You tweeted that 'What I really love about Zarine is she is truly very large everywhere…especially in her heart and her lovely mind'. You are being double meaning here…
Yes. She was very worried as she was looking very heavy. She mentioned this to me 2-3 times. So I told her, 'Trust me, men like large things. I am a man and you have to take my word for it.' So the tweet was half in pun. I swear on God…
But you don't believe in God…
That's the reason I am swearing!
If Veerappan had kidnapped you, what do you think would have been the ransom amount?
I think Veerappan would have killed me! He would have realized that I am more criminally dangerous than him. So he wouldn't have wanted me as a competitor in the future!
What would you do if you get marooned on an island with Karan Johar and a digital movie camera?
For the first time, I am mum! I can't think of an answer. Having said that, a lot of times, I have said that I hate Karan and that Karan's films are horror films. I also meant it as a compliment, because of the success of his films which will draw off all my films put together. And that's the reason I think they are horror films. So I have got a lot of pent up rage in me. Hence, I'll hit him on his head with the digital camera! But jokes apart, I'll shoot the best pictures of him ever anyone has ever shot! I'll be able to shoot him the best that any photographer has ever managed.
You recently commented on how Hollywood is invading the business of Bollywood. Do you feel that it's a wakeup call?
Yes, it is, but I don't think we'll wake up from the sleep (laughs). We don't have the capacity and it will be foolish on our part to even imagine that we can compete with them.
However, the Marathi film Sairat is attracting people even on weekdays…
We are not talking about a once-in-a-while-film that rocks the box office. If you a look at it, on a regular basis, Hollywood is just f***ing Bollywood. Imagine – a movie like The Jungle Book can finish off Fan. A few years ago, nobody would have thought about it even in their wildest dreams. Forget not having budget, we don't have the capacity of think of something like an Inception or Avatar or even The Jungle Book. British invaded India for 200 years. And now, Hollywood has invaded Bollywood and I don't think that it will ever go. Because they have tasted blood and now they are hungry for more!
What would you do if you wake up one day next to Sunny Leone?
I'll maybe look around for Daniel (Weber, Sunny's husband) if he's about to hit me with a bat!
What are the 3 things that turn you on in a woman?
Firstly, her butt. Secondly, her face. And thirdly, her ability to listen to me…without talking! She shouldn't talk to me. She should only listen to me. Wait, I'll change my order – this is the first. Because if this doesn't happen, the other two won't come in the picture!
Advice you'd like to give to the following people: Shah Rukh Khan?
I honestly believe that Shah Rukh Khan should use his stardom to push cinema, like what Leonardo DiCaprio has done to Hollywood. SRK has this unique distinction of being a terrific actor and a superstar and this combination can push cinema. Anyways, nothing really guarantees success. Even if you want to stick to traditional formula, it doesn't happen and if you try something different, it might also fail. But, still I hope he goes the Leonardo DiCaprio way and does a Shutter Island to an Inception to a The Wolf Of Wall Street.
What advice you'd like to give to Salman Khan?
I don't want to advise him. I like him the way he is, flexing his muscles. I think Salman and Rajnikanth come in the category of being just the way they are. Trying to ask them to change is being stupid.
What advice you'd like to give to Aamir Khan?
Aamir Khan doesn't need advice. I think he has an extraordinary passion and is sincere. He probably thinks far more than anybody in the industry can. So, I don't think I am qualified enough to give them any advice.
What advice you'd like to give to KRK? He's your very good friend.
Yes that's what it seems, the way you confide him on Twitter…
Recently, he only said that 'waqt aur KRK kisika nahin hota'. KRK, basically realizes that he's only loyal to his followers and not to anybody else. Everything he uses and abuses depends on his mood. What I'd like to advice KRK is that he should become more vicious because people like to see that side of him. When he gives a good review, it's so boring. When I first saw him a very good review to Neerja, I thought he's making fun of it. After all, every time he tries to surprise you, doesn't he? So, I thought it was his way of saying very, very nice things and in the end he'll say, 'All this is a lie. April fool!' But, I realized that was not the case and hence, it was the most boring review ever. So I advise him that if he likes a film, he shouldn't say anything about it.
What advice you'd like to give to Karan Johar?
Karan, again, is like Salman. He doesn't need any advice. I like him the way he is. But can I answer that Karan Johar question once again, as to what I'll do if I get marooned on an island with him and a movie camera?
So, I get marooned with him, I'll shoot him in angles which he wouldn't have been shot by anybody. RGV-angled Karan Johar is what you'll get to see!
Will it be the way you shoot women at times?
Wait and watch! So, the day you put me and him in a helicopter, drop us on a marooned island, I'll shoot and send the videos to you!