Satish Kaushik Exclusive Interview: “Content Is What Makes A Film Hit Now”

Mohnish Singh |Oct 31, 2019

Satish Kaushik, producer, director and actor, talks in detail about his long career, foray into regional cinema and upcoming Bollywood and web projects.

Satish Kaushik is a multifaceted artist who certainly needs no introduction. In a career spanning close to four decades, he has contributed abundantly to Indian cinema. Apart from playing some unforgettable characters in several blockbuster movies, Satish Kaushik has also directed and produced a number of successful films over the years.

In this interaction, Satish Kaushik walks down the memory lane and talks about his career in films began, how character actors were typecast earlier, how the cinema has shaped up over the years and much more. The producer, director and actor also clears the rumours about a sequel to his immensely successful directorial Tere Naam (2003).

Satish Dna
Image source: DNA

How has your year been up till now?

Till Diwali, this year has been good for me. As an actor, I did quite a lot of films, experienced new things, played new kind of roles. I produced 4 films this year too, and I tried to give regional cinema some well-deserved awareness. I am from Haryana and I am very happy to say that I produced Chhoriyan Chhoron Se Kam Nahi Hoti (2019) and then I went on to produce a Marathi film Man Udhaan Vara (2019).

Then there is an English film coming out too. So, this year has been busy for me. Also, my radio show ‘Filmy Calendar Show’ is doing quite nice as well. It has been a packed year and this felt like the year I reinvented myself.

Do you see any difference between the cinema you were used to before and the cinema that is now?

The cinema we used to do was a bit loud maybe, not that understated, but these days the performance and roles are a bit understated because our cinema medium has grown a lot. Now, even if you hiss, your sound is heard in the multiplex very clearly.

During our time, sometimes it happened as if no matter how loud or long you say the dialogue when it is seen in the theater, there are times when you couldn’t even hear them. The screening system was not up to the mark. But now the medium has gone digital, and the performers and makers now believe in understated and subdued performances.

There are rumours going on that Tere Naam is getting a sequel, can you clear up that for us?

They are just talks. I have the script for it with me but there have been no talks with Salman Khan or any production plan. Right now, it is just a rumour, nothing definite.

Satish Ce
Image source: CinemaExpress

Do you feel filmmakers today are more open to exploring new themes?

Before we had only 2-3 stories to tell but nowadays filmmakers have become fearless. Today, we can make a film on any topic. Movies like Vicky Donor (2012) or Stree (2018) or Badhaai Ho (2018) are content-driven. The content is king now. It is not necessary that only a star-studded film is what will be hit. Content is what makes a film hit now.

What do you feel about the various new mediums through which the audience are entertained? s

I am an entertainer; I have worked in all mediums in all skills. I have been a writer, an actor, a director and a producer. I have been in theatre, cinema and radio. I have been through all in these 40 years. I have never said no to work, I have quite a hard time saying no when it comes to work.

I believe I came to Mumbai to work and no matter how small or big the work is or what kind of work has been offered, I have completed it. I have done guest appearances too but I have enjoyed them all.

What do you think was the turning point in your career?

I did a small role in Anil Kapoor’s film Woh Saat Din (1983) where I only had two dialogues, but nobody knew that with these two dialogues that I would be acquainted with Anil Kapoor and Boney Kapoor or the director of the film, Bapu, would have me cast in all of his films. Talent is something that can bee seen by people with experience. For me, that was with Bapu sir. Like nowadays I keep an eye out for the same.

Satish Ht
Image source: HT

Do you prefer a certain genre over the others? We have seen you a lot in comedies, so maybe that.

When I started in the film industry, there was a set pattern to which actors played. Like he will play the role of a brother, he will be the comedian, he will always play the friend, etc. There were fixed roles, actors were typecast. I was typecast too as my first hit role was Calendar in Mr. India (1987) so my subsequent roles were of the same kind therefore my prominent characters were in comedy films and I could not say no to work.

I don’t believe myself to be just a comedy actor, I just did what I was given. My role in the latter years prove that, like my role in Calcutta Mail (2003) or Udta Punjab (2016) or Soorma (2018). Nowadays, cinema is changing, actors are given diverse roles. I hope my career shows directors that this is Satish Kaushik who is not just a comedian but is capable of diverse roles as my training has been of that.

How was your experience in producing regional films?

Regional cinema is going to be the power of Indian cinema, actually, I think it is already one. These days the different mediums through which we could tell stories to our audience, showing them the diverse content, culture and tradition has held up quite nicely. The farther we explore our tradition, the better stories we are met with.

I have quite an experience with world cinema and one thing I have noticed internationally is that they explore all the culture in their movies like in the movie Brick Lane (2007) where Indian culture is explored in England as a background. Same should be in India, where we have so many languages, so many states and each have their own stories to tell and thankfully we are at the point with digital media where we are exploring those stories either through web shows or regional production community.

Can you tell us something about your future projects?

In a few days, you will be aware of it. There are a few directions, some productions and I have had the opportunity to work with some talented people. There are some scripts of small budgets that I would like to pursue and I would also like to pursue something on OTT platforms. We are already in the development of some web-shows.

>>> Read more: Top 30 Marathi Movies 2019 – A Successful Year Of Marathi Cinema


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