Prakash Jha is a filmmaker who is known for making pathbreaking cinema and has grown to build a league of films that classics in their own right. From Gangaajal to Satygraha and Rajneeti, he has worked with some very talented and noteworthy artists in his career — the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Priyanka Chopra, Manoj Bajpayee, among others.
In an exclusive interaction with him, I asked him what he thinks of the entire insider-outsider debate that is going on in the industry currently. The discourse is surrounding how outsiders are side-lined and marginalised by star kids and insiders who run the business.
It’s natural for people who achieve something in their life to give first preference to the ones close to them, their children, But even here, only when you have proven yourself do you get accepted. If you are given a chance and you don’t succeed, people don’t relate to you and you cannot continue as an actor or a director. I am an outsider. I know tonnes of actor, technicians who have come to Mumbai and found their place here. Some kind of discrepencies are always there, but by and large I don’t think I, or many of us, have been affected by it.
He also spoke about how certain people create a clique and work only with certain actors and says it is good for them if that’s their business model. But he states that he doesn’t subscribe to it.
It’s not that we didn’t struggle. You have to keep working on yourself and become better at your craft. You will get opportunities. And when you do succeed and get recognised everybody runs after you. Look at actors like Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Naseeruddin Shah or even Shah Rukh Khan. It’s not that they were served in a plate, they really had to work hard.
There are reforms and correction needed. There are better ways of dealing with people who come here for the first time. But, never forget that you’ll have to work hard and prove yourself. Otherwise, it would become so easy.
The filmmaker is currently prepping for his digital debut with the web series, Ashram, starring Bobby Deol.