90’s actor Bijay Anand has again become active in acting after a long break. As an actor, his priority now is only to do a good role and for this the medium does not matter to him. Highlights of the conversation with Urmila Kori.
How much are you enjoying this second inning of your career as an actor?
Enjoying it very much. The reason for that is that this was my profession in the first innings, which means if I get work then it is good, otherwise there is a feeling of insecurity, not money. Where will the income come from? Meaning, if the producer is talking, how much money will he pay? If the money was good then there were a lot of problems if the roles were not there. Now I am earning from different places. I have a big name in the art industry. There is no pressure of money, so I said no to such big production houses, whose names you would not believe after hearing them. I want to enjoy this innings of my career. I just want to do this work to fulfill my passion for acting.
What kind of characters are your priority?
How much money will you give me for this project? This question no longer exists. Due to which I experience a different freedom.
The industry is very money driven, does it make it easy to get work?
See, a respectable amount should be paid in recognition of the work done. I would like to mention an incident. I got a call from a big production house. They offered me a role and asked how much would you charge. I said whatever you find respectable. He said ok, take Rs 21 thousand. I said that you should give eleven rupees. He said how are you talking like this? We are such a big production house. I said but it doesn’t seem so. I don’t want to work with you. I had said no upfront. The industry is very strange. Bahubali was going to come on Netflix as a web series. Went to Hyderabad for its shooting. He gave me such a vanity van, which is not given to artistes even in third grade serials. You treat big stars like kings and how come you treat other actors so badly. I left that show. After some time it came to light that the show itself was scrapped. I work on my own terms.
What projects do you have currently and how special is your character in them?
Bade Miya Chhote Miya is my next film with Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff. People know me as a yoga guru. I have played such characters on screen too, who have been very calm and good type, but in this film I have become a terrorist. As an actor, this is the graph acting you want. Apart from this film, there is a film with Vidyut Jammwal, for which I am eagerly waiting. I think that film will prove to be a game changer for me.
How was the experience of working with Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff?
When you are working with Akshay, there are one and a half to two hundred jokes on the set. Have known Tiger for a long time. We go to the same gym so it was a very good shooting experience on the set.
How would you describe the experience of current-day action stars Tiger and Vidyut Jammwal?
Tiger’s dedication is of a different level. Surrender is a different kind of yoga. The way you train. You abstain from eating. He is no less than a yogi. I have a different respect for Tiger in my heart. I would call Vidyut one of the few good people not only in this industry but in the entire world. He is the hero and producer of my film, so I am not saying like this, if someone is bad then I will put it on his face, but Vidyut is a very good person. His physical and mental abilities are of a different level. This thing is not hidden from anyone.
Have you always had this outspokenness?
At that time also my view was the same. The system at that time was very strange. The producer at that time thought that if you sit in his office and keep flattering him the whole day, he will cast you in his film, but I was not like that. It was clear to me that I cannot do spoon-feeding. This is my dancing video. This is my acting in this film. You take a look and decide whether you want to cast or not.
What changes has yoga brought about in you?
Yoga has made my outlook very positive. You understand this, which is good. That is good but what is happening is bad. He is not bad, but you have to learn from him. In such a situation, the thing called sorrow goes away from your life.
You have an art business, are also a yoga guru and an actor, how do you manage all three things?
Everything is managed very easily. Whatever is giving you tension means you have to cut it. I love all three of them. I haven’t decided what to do right now. Not that. If you decide in life that this is what I have to do, then your life is over. This is the reason why 90 percent of people are unhappy today. Because they decide that they want this in life. Not this. You surrender life.
How much time do you give to yoga?
My yoga continues throughout the day, like I may sit on a chair while eating, but I will sit cross-legged on the chair. How many times are you chewing your food while eating? Are you drinking water with food or not? How much ghee is added to food is also a sum. Making things easier is not yoga, it is asana. Your way of living, thinking, breathing, way of sitting, all that is yoga. That keeps me going throughout the day.