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'If you make a good movie, trolls can't stop people from seeing it': Milind Soman (IANS Interview)


Author : Chetan Sharma

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New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) The Aamir Khan-starrer 'Laal Singh Chaddha' hit the theatres on Thursday. And the movie is evoking mixed reviews from the critics as well the audience.

Even before the release of the film, it faced a lot of 'hate' from netizens as the call for 'Boycott Laal Singh Chaddha' was trending on social media ever since the poster of the movie was made public.

Several Bollywood stars came out in support of Aamir and even the actor himself requested people to watch the movie before making any decision.

To this, supermodel and actor Milind Soman, too shared his views. Speaking exclusively to IANS, he said "trolls can't stop a good film". He further asked the filmmakers to work more on scripts so that people get attracted to them despite negative comments on social media.

The fitness icon also spoke about his August 15 'Unity Run' programme.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q: A trend has started on social media with the hashtag 'Boycott Bollywood'. 'Boycott Laal Singh Chaddha' is also doing the rounds. Why is there such hatred towards Bollywood and what needs to be done to stop it?

A: Everybody can't agree with everything. You like some movie, but somebody else might not like it... People have their voice today and they will say whatever they want.

If some people don't like somebody, they will say we don't like this person. If they don't like somebody's ideas, they will say we don't like this person's ideas. Some people don't like some politician, they'll say we don't like this politician. But like I tweeted, trolls can't stop a movie from becoming a hit. Because people always watch good films.

When there is a good story, people are going to watch it. You're not going to say 'Oh, this is an amazing movie, but we're not going to watch it because we don't like the actor'. It never happened that way.

I believe the audience is made up of three kinds of people. Some people like the film, some people who don't like the film, and some trolls who don't watch the film at all. So it's like that. I mean, how much importance can you give to them? 'Laal Singh Chaddha' or 'Raksha Bandhan' or any other movie that's coming up, if the film is good, people are going to watch.

My tweet was not about any nationalistic sentiment or anything. My tweet was actually about Indian filmmakers. Yeah, if you make a good movie, nobody can stop you. People won't say 'Oh, I don't like this actor so we won't watch this movie'.

Suppose there are 20 actors in the movie and you don't like one actor. What will you do? So I'm saying, work on a good script and people will love it.

Most of the scripts that I get nowadays, I read it like this (hand on forehead). I'm like, what are these people doing (laughs)? So all I'm saying is work on good scripts. Do good work. It will succeed.

Q: Is there any new project or movie you are working on?

A: Right now, I'm doing a film and a web series. I'm not allowed to talk about them. Those are the only ones that I felt were very, very interesting, may be because of the director, may be because of the story itself. But most of what I get, I would say about 80 per cent, I'm like, 'What is going on?'.

Q: From 'Made in India' to 'Unity Run'. Or say, supermodel to fitness icon. How do you see your journey so far?

A: I actually did 'Made in India' after I left modelling. I started modelling in 1989. And 'Made in India' came out in 1995 when I had stopped modelling.

I've always been a sportsperson. At the age of nine, I started swimming and represented Maharashtra at the national level. I was the national champion till the age of 23, which was 1989. And I started modelling after that, and that too by chance because somebody just offered me a job which was interesting and the money was good too. So I said yes. I was aware of what I could do.

You know, I can enjoy whatever life has to offer without thinking twice about it.

When it comes to encouraging people to be fit, it only happened because people got interested in being fit. People didn't think much about fitness or about health or anything till, say, the mid 90s. I would say that's when you also started seeing actors getting better physique, as they started exercising in gyms. And then slowly it became a big thing.

I think by the early 2000, all actors had to have good a physique. Being fit was something that was expected of actors, which was not the case earlier or. I mean, learning created a big impact. When I was 50, I became Ironman.

I posted that on my Facebook page, just a simple message, and people went crazy, especially in the media. I was in Zurich, I had just finished the event and I put this up on Facebook and almost immediately my phone started ringing. Every single publication, every single news channel asked 'how did you do this'?

I was like, okay, I'm 50 but I've always been like this and I enjoyed doing these things. In 2012, I ran from Delhi to Bombay, but it wasn't that big a news because nobody cared. Three years later, I did Ironman, and it was huge. So it's all a question of how the public's mind is changing.

Q: On August 15 you will be seen in action again. You will cover a distance of 420 km from Jhansi to Delhi in a span of eight days. Tell us something about this?

A: I started these special runs for Independence Day. A number of other athletes and runners joined me as well, so I decided that we should do it every year. I ran 70 km on the 70th Independence day, 71 km on the 71st, and so on.

Last year on the 74th Independence Day, while the country was grappling with the deadly virus, I decided to celebrate the theme of unity by aiming to complete a run in eight days. I always celebrate Independence Day, but last year I wanted to do something a bit more commemorative. There was a lot of conflict going on, which is why I decided to take the theme of unity.



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