In fact, I laughed so hard that a few startled people behind the counter asked me about it. Since it was chai time (this happens on the hour in most State banks), I grabbed the chai offered to me, raised my cup and read Vishal's answer out aloud for everyone. There was much chuckling and head shaking.
I feel compelled to share that last answer. Everything except formatting is verbatim. You can read the entire interview here.
"I realised after working with them that it is difficult to convince mainstream actors as they come with pre-conceived images of themselves and see themselves as a third person which is annoying. For instance, Saif was reluctant to cut his hair short for his role in Omkara due to his female fan following. So, one day I told him, 'If you are so concerned about your female fans, why did you become an actor?' And it is not that in his heart he did not know that, but he needed to be convinced all the time.
The problem is that mainstream actors, especially the boys don't let themselves loose. They don't trust anybody completely. Female actors leave it to you and are not a problem be it Priyanka, Tabu, Kareena, Konkona or Anushka. All the male stars I worked with had a problem barring Ajay Devgn, who was a cool guy.
If you ask a guy to take off his shirt, his face drops as he has not exercised and is more concerned about his cuts, curves and muscles than girls who are more relaxed on this count. Guys are also more complexed than the girls.
There was a scene in Omkara as per the script where the actors were to sit with their upper bodies bare while the hawan was being carried out. When I saw Saif he was all ready with his cuts and curves and looked bulgy straight out from a gym as against looking like a villager. One of the actors told me, 'You should have had the courtesy to at least tell us that you wanted us to wear gamchas during the hawan so that we would not have killed ourselves in the gym.' I felt bad and allowed them to sit bare body in the shot.
Thereafter, in every film, I have fun when I tell an actor that you have to go bare body. He immediately goes into depression and starts going to the gym and asks for at least 21 days to get ready which I find amusing.
Girls are lovely and painless. I wish I could make more female-oriented films."
Talent agencies in India, please take note: there should be a clause in all superstars' next contract: MUST BE GIVEN 21 DAY NOTICE TO PERFORM SHIRTLESS SCENE.
Vishal's new flick Matru ki Bijli ka Mandola opens January 11