Vivek Agnihotri on why he quit mainstream movies: ‘You’re as smart and dumb as your star’


Vivek Agnihotri has revealed why he quit mainstream Bollywood and became an independent producer. In an interview with Galatta Plus, the filmmaker explained how he didn’t want to be stuck within the star system that dictates mainstream Bollywood. (Also Read: Vivek Agnihotri interview on The Vaccine War: ‘India doesn’t make science films as Bollywood thinks audience is dumb’)

Vivek Agnihotri talks about why he stopped making films with stars. (Photo by Samir Jana/ Hindustan Times)(Hindustan Times)

What Vivek said

“I realised that you’re as smart and as dumb as your star. In Bollywood, everything is centred around the star. Nobody cares about the writer or the director. Even the biggest hits, the recent superstar hits, you can’t tell me who the writers of those films are. Nobody in the public cares about them. Your film is as big and as bad as a star at that time is. And I didn’t like this… leaving my destiny to the destiny of a star. And I didn’t want to be dictated by it,” said Vivek in the interview.

Vivek’s comment comes after the recent box-office success of Gadar 2 and Jawan. While Gadar 2, starring Sunny Deol in the lead role, is directed by Anil Sharma and written by Shaktimaan Talwar, Jawan, starring Shah Rukh Khan in the titular role, is written and directed by Atlee.

Vivek says stars are fascist

“It makes me sad that what are we doing to this industry. They call other people fascist, who’s the fascist here? If the stars are going to dictate the future of the film industry, then somebody has to fight it. So I’m that disruptor, I’m that opposition, I’m that person who is challenging the establishment. My philosophy is simple. You must’ve seen all these stars stand up and protest, they say, ‘Our job is to challenge the establishment.’ I say I make movies. My first dharma is to challenge the establishment of movies. If I cannot challenge that, I have no bl**** right to challenge anything else,” Vivek said in the same interview.

Vivek made his Bollywood debut with the 2005 crime thriller Chocolate, starring Anil Kapoor, Suniel Shetty, Irrfan Khan, and Emraan Hashmi. He then helmed the 2007 sports film Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal, starring John Abraham and Bipasha Basu. His next release is the medical thriller The Vaccine War, starring Nana Patekar, Anupam Kher, Raima Sen, and his wife and co-producer Pallavi Joshi.

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