Q It is that special day again. but, why do birthdays annoy you?
Such an unnecessary fuss! A birthday is just another day in the life of a person. What’s the big deal?
Q What would the ideal birthday be like, for you? A day away from all the attention?
Yes, that would be ideal. But I would like to have my family with me, particularly my grandchildren.
Q For years now, you’ve lived a life devoted to others. Do you ever think, “Enough, now I want to live for myself”?
The satisfaction that you get from living a life devoted to others can’t be found anywhere else. To have “had enough” would be a failure on my part as an artist. The day I feel like I have had enough will mark the defeat of my creative abilities.
Q But there’s only so much you can do in one lifetime.
Yes, there shall always be limitations to our abilities. But I believe we learn something new every day. I want to keep learning every day of my life, even though realise that even that will never be enough.
Q Do you have any unfulfilled dreams — as an actor, an artist, a musician, or an Indian?
As an actor, I have millions of unfulfilled dreams — dreams of qualifying the craft to its ultimate degree, if that can even be done. As an artiste, I wish to accept my limitations and yet keep on attempting to improve. As a musician, I want to be able to educate myself in the playing of musical instruments. And as an Indian, I have always wanted India to be called a developed nation, and not a developing nation.
Q Your next release is the much-awaited Thugs of Hindostan. How easy was it to get into character and do those gruelling action sequences?
Thugs of Hindostan shoot was difficult and strenuous. But when has any job ever been easy? It took me a good three to four hours to get ready every day, and another hour and a half to take the costume and make-up off after the shoot. But once a commitment has been made, it is only professional to behave as directed by the makers.
Q Sexual harassment at the workplace, and in the entertainment business, in particular, is one of the vital issues that’s being discussed today. What do you think of the problem of women’s safety?
No woman should ever be subjected to any kind of misbehavior or disorderly conduct, especially at the work place. Such acts should immediately be brought to the attention of the concerned authorities, and corrective measures should be taken. Women and children are the most vulnerable sections of our society, and they need to under special protective care. It has been most heartening to see an increase in the representation of women in most vocations. It would be an irreparable blemish if we are not able to provide them the welcome they deserve.