Prakash Jha criticises ‘legendary actors’ for selling gutkhas: When they want to focus on content, they will come to me

Bollywood Entertainment

Director-producer Prakash Jha has spoken about ‘top, legendary actors’ selling gutkha (tobacco) and not wanting to work in his films. In a new interview, Prakash responded to his previous remark that he struggles to cast stars. He also said that he hasn’t made a film with ‘a big star in a while’. Prakash also added that when stars take time out from selling tobaccos to focus on content, they will ‘come to me automatically’. (Also Read | Prakash Jha says he’ll react to boycott trends when good films suffer)

When asked if he thought that actors don’t own up to their films, he said that they don’t have time as an actor who had ‘five flops, is shooting for 12 ad films’ and getting ‘ 10 crores for each of them’. Prakash also said that his ‘whole focus is on content creation’.

In an interview with Times of India, Prakash said, “There are 5-6 actors. Look at the condition of these actors. Why will they work in my films when they get 50 crores for doing one gutkha advertisement? The actors are selling gutkha. Can you imagine? What are these top, legendary actors doing? We had gone to a school for location scouting. The principal of the school asked me what are you guys doing in the Mumbai film industry? The boys in our school are caught chewing gutkha. Roam around the north through Lucknow, Prayagraj and Mugalsarai, there are big hoardings put up where all our big stars are selling all types of gutkhas (tobaccos) and paan masalas.”

Speaking on ‘star system’, he said, “What do we do about the system? Unless and until we don’t correct our filmmaking process. The filmmaking process doesn’t start with money, it starts with the subject. It starts with the passion of making cinema. It can’t start with the 500-crore funding that you have got, so you can make anything. That’s what is happening…I have not sat idle even for a day. I have been producing content constantly. I haven’t made a film with a big star in a while, but I have made other stuff. That’s fine, I’m happy about it. When stars take time out from selling gutkhas and want to focus on content, they will come to me automatically.”

Prakash has made several films in the last few decades such as Parinati (1989), Mrityudand (1997), Dil Kya Kare (1999), Gangaajal (2003), Apaharan (2005), Raajneeti (2010), Aarakshan (2011), Pareeksha and Saand Ki Aankh (2019).

He also made the web series Aashram, which stars Bobby Deol, Aaditi Pohankar, Darshan Kumar, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Tushar Pandey, Anupriya Goenka, Adhyayan Suman, and Vikram Kochhar among others. The first season streamed on MX Player in August 2020 and the second season on the OTT platform in November 2020. The third season released in June 2022, and the series has been renewed for a fourth season, expected to be releases next year.

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