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    [2001 onwards]


'The cricket in the film is unimportant'

23 July, 2001: Bollywood director Ashutosh Gowariker is still getting used to the accolades after the super success of Lagaan. He fielded the questions of his fans personally typing his responses 'I can think only when I writing or typing, it's hard for me to chat otherwise'. Down to earth and extremely talented, that is Ash, as he is called among his colleagues. Read on to find out more about Lagaan and its creator.

Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Hi everyone! This is Ashutosh.

pop : why only aamir khan was selected as actor
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : The character of Bhuvan is that of a very righteous person. I think that that is aquality Aamir possesses by default. Hence I could think of no one else but him.

dexter : Hello Ashutosh - Do you remember me- Dexter from Mithibai College. Well its really great to have you in the spotlight again.
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Hi Dexter, nice talking to you after a long time. How have you been? Email me your ID and I'll catch up with you!!

jatin : Your lagaan has been has been hit .Now what's your feeling?
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : I'm extremely happy, satisfied and content. It gives me great joy to learn that all you guys have liked the film.

manjeet : asutosh kasa ahes

vishal : hi ashu whats your zodiac sign.
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : I'm a water bearer - AQUARIUS.

jatin : are you happy with the performance of aamir khan?
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Yes. Extremely! Though he feels that he did not get enough time to prepare for the role because of his duties as a producer. I told him that he should relax and leave everything to me and not get worried. WORRY always shows on an actor's face and that can harm a characterisation. So, he stopped worrying and I think he has given a superlative performance!!

parvez : so now your expectations will be high budget films with big heros or will you still go to see the script like that in lagaan
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : The scale of any film is dependant on the script. It is the story which will decide the scope/actor/budget of the film.

ankit : hey... werent u guys nervous pitting lagaan aginst gadar ?
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : No, not at all, 'coz we were mainly interested in knowing how LAGAAN was going to fare. That both the films released on the same date is sheer coincidence.

Lagaanluvr : hey ashutosh my frnd wanted to ask u if handicapped ppl hav a chance in the film industry
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Of course they do. The industry welcomes anyone and everyone with the talent and will to fight.

rani : when is your birthday?
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : 15th February

Lagaanluvr : Sir,which actor would u like to direct?
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : A very difficult question. Coz my list is very long. I will let the script decide for me as to which actor should play a particular part. I believe that "Role role par likha hai, karnewale ka naam!"

amitjaiswal : ashutosh do u know the tits n bits of cricket .
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Yes. I do know the TITS & BITS. But just enough to write the match and make the climax interesting.

Roopashri : hello, ashutosh, are u too busy? no answers to my Qs at all........
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : So Roopashri, what's your question?

vanessa : why did u choose ar rahman
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : The question is "Why did AR Rahman choose to work with me?" The answer is he loved the script. He was excited with the idea of doing an album which would be based on folk music. And also the blend of Indian and Western music was very appealing to him. Same reasons why I approached him. I'm glad he accepted.

carijohar : Hi Mr Ashutosh Gowariker, I am screenwriter and what advice you have to tell me?
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Put your pen to paper and Dream to Dare, Dare to Dream!

arun : how confident you were on choosing gracey singh in lagaan
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Extremely! She is wonderful actress. She has infused the character of Gauri with a charm and zest which is a part of her personality. In fact, this was the quality due to which I cast her in the film.

raj kiran : mr ashutosh, how would u project lagaan to a person who has no knowledge of cricket? considering the fact that 2/3rds of the movie revolves around it... ?
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Hi Raj! The cricket in the film is unimportant. What is important is the passion of the villagers to go to any extreme to get their lagaan cancelled. It is this passion that makes the climax and the film interesting. So I sincerely think that a non-cricket playing or someone who doesn't know the game will also like the film. I hope!!

KM : Hi Ashu , Do you think the measurement taken by Amir Khan to stop piarating Lagaan has been fruitful?
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : To a certain extent, yes! I believe there is only one way to fight Audio/Video piracy and that is by the cooperation of the audiences. If they decide not to hear or watch a pirated tape, it'll end all the aspirations of a pirate. How would you like it if someone wiped off your freshly applied mehndi rom your palms? How would you like it someone rubbed off your beautifully designed rangoli? DON'T HEAR/WATCH PIRATED TAPES

Lagaanluvarzy : Would u like to direct salman's home production in future?if so why?
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Of course, I would love to do a film with Salman. Provided I have a script that suits him. More importantly, Salman should also like the script. Whether its his home-production or not is a secondary matter.

cricketfan : dont you think, Lagaan will bring about a trend of freedom struggle movies
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : THAT I'm not so sure of. But I'll be happy if audiences welcome more and more movies based on varied subjects. Only then will film-makers/producers/distributors/every other department will have the courage to expand/experiment with different stories.

manav : hi ash which is your next film
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : I'm working on couple of ideas. It'll take me some time to crystallise them. I'm looking forward to it as much as you are!

reena : Baazi is one of my favorite movie
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Reena, I'm very very glad to hear that.

cricketfan : where do you feel your earlier movies went wrong?
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : In retrospection, I think the scripts were not well-crafted. They had short-comings. Since I was the writer myself, there's no one else to blame.

kunalmalhotra : i came to hear that you told gracy to dance on a no. at the time of audition is that true. and at which no.
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Yes its true. I made her (and everyone else) dance to the song "Hothon pe aisi baat".

Roshni : why dont u give us an out and out comedy movie?
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : The thought had crossed my mind. Yes, I'm working in that direction.

rachit : i like your movie lagaan very much i had seen it twenty times
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : 5 more times and you'll be eligible for a SILVER JUBILEE trophy from the unit of LAGAAN.

girish : which is your birth place ???
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Our very own Mumbai!

Milind : Hi AshutoshDo you think that movie like 'Lagaan' should get nomination spot in Oscars and Academy Awards
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : The nomination spot is one thing. And being sent as an Indian entry for the Academy award is another. I'll feel honoured if LAGAAN is chosen by our Government to represent our country.

Rakeshrai : Hi Ashutosh why are you not answering my questions about the Lagaan dvd that you promised with the 18 mins. Which company is authoring the film on dvd? By the way my email address is
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : No! There is no footage to be added or removed to/from the film or the DVD version. What you are seeing in the theaters is the final film - all of 3 hours 42 minutes.

Dina : R u married
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Yes. My wife's name is Sunita. I have two sons - Konark (10 years) & Vishwang (5 years).

himanshu : do u think that your movie title 'Lagaan' was appropiate?? Why
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : There couldn't have been any other title because the 'tax' was the focal point of the story. It hasn't rained, which means no crops... and in these times comes the demand for double the tax. Bhuvan and the villagers strive to get the 'tax' cancelled. Hence the title.

Roshni : ashuji, do u get back to your fans on email id?
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Yes, I do! But only when I log on. Which is once a fortnight.

Dina : Ashu..I asked @ marathi films...any plans....?
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : Yes! But I'm not sure when. I have a script ready based on a true incident.

amir : Is lagaan a hit because of amir khan, the star or the movie as a whole
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : I would say a combination of both.

himanshu : What impact u want have on the audience. How u feel after watching your own great creation??
Mr Ashutosh Gowariker : I would like the audience to encourage all kinds of cinema. Realistic cinema, Escapist cinema, Propagandist cinema, Political cinema and whichever new cinema that emerges. If and only every kind of cinema is welcomed, can ideas be exchanged, cultures be absorbed & respected and responsibilities towards society and each other can be examined with greater depth and compassion. It might sound utopian, but I think it is possible. Because deep within, I myself am an audience first!! ITS BEEN GREAT TALKING TO ALL YOU GUYS. I APOLOGISE TO THOSE WHOM I COULD NOT REPLY. KEEP THE FAITH! Bye for now!!

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