- "KJo is not just a filmmaker, he's also a businessman," said Mr Kashyap
- He was talking about the power of big production houses
- "YRF today is very different from YRF 10 years ago," said Mr Kashyap
Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, in an interview to NDTV's Rohit Khilnani, said the ongoing debate over equal opportunities for "outsiders" in the Hindi film industry is "10 years too late." Mr Kashyap also spoke about whether big production houses like Aditya Chopra's Yash Raj Films and Karan Johar's Dharma Productions have the power to shape a newcomer's future. "YRF (Yash Raj Films) today is very different from YRF 10 years ago," said Mr Kashyap. Addressing newcomers, Mr Kashyap, who often casts new talent in his films, said: "If you want a break from YRF and Dharma, then there's a long queue."
Karan Johar, often accused of using his clout to advance the careers of 'star kids' like Alia Bhatt, became the focus of public anger against nepotism in Bollywood after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput last month, allegedly by suicide. "A Karan Johar can make somebody's career... by launching (him/her) in a big film. Because he's not just a filmmaker, he's also a businessman. He understands. But he cannot break anyone," Anurag Kashyap said. Mr Kashyap cast KJo in his film Bombay Velvet. The two filmmakers have also collaborated on the anthologies Bombay Talkies, Lust Stories and Ghost Stories.
Sushant Singh Rajput's death has also thrown into sharp relief the divide between 'insiders' and 'outsiders' in Bollywood - the terms are popularly used to differentiate between film fraternity members who have parents or other family working in the industry and those who don't. 'Outsiders' have to work much harder to get their foot into the door in what is a very unforgiving profession; 'insiders' often don't need to go through the audition process and jump to the head of the queue. Things, however, are changing, according to Anurag Kashyap.
"Outsiders today get more opportunities today than they got 10 years back. The whole debate is 10 years too late. Social media exists now, it didn't exist then," Mr Kashyap said, "Today, the audience has the power of validation. The audience can go and empower an outsider by watching his/her films."
Watch the excerpt of Anurag Kashyap's interview with NDTV's Rohit Khilnani here:
The word 'outsider' was recently invoked by actress Kangana Ranaut - some years ago, she called Karan Johar "the flag-bearer of nepotism" - who referred to colleagues Taapsee Pannu and Swara Bhasker as "needy outsiders" in a TV interview. On social media, Anurag Kashyap has shared tweets supporting Taapsee and Swara.
Anurag Kashyap's own body of work features many 'outsiders' who are now ranked among cinema's most talented - the Gangs Of Wasseypur films star Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Richa Chadha and several others. Mr Kashyap is known for his gritty, impactful brand of filmmaking. His resume includes acclaimed films such as Dev.D and Black Friday. His last film was Choked, starring Saiyami Kher.