Mumbai: There are very few directors in the Hindi film industry who believe in making different kinds of films apart from commercial ones. Ashutosh Gowariker is one such directors who make offbeat films that do quite well at the box office.
Born 15 February 1964 in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, here are some special facts you might not know about him.
Gowariker started his career as an actor, making his debut in 1984 in director Ketan Mehta’s movie Holi. On the Holi sets, Gowariker met Aamir Khan and their friendship started. In the year 1983, Ashutosh ventured into direction and made his first film Pehla Nasha, although the film was a flop.
In 1995 Ashutosh made his second film Baazi in which Aamir appeared in the role of a police officer. The film featured Mamta Kulkarni in the lead role alongside him. After this, in the year 2001, Ashutosh did something which cemented his place in the annals of Indian cinema. He made Lagaan which garnered him a name in the list of A-grade directors. The film made several records at the box office and even managed to reach the Oscars.
Ashutosh, despite being a top director in Hindi films, was involved in a very controversial incident in 2009. His spat with Sajid Khan in the Star Screen Awards received a lot of media attention then.
When Sajid called Ashutosh on stage to receive the Best Film Award for the film Jodha Akbar, Ashutosh lashed out by saying: “I don’t like one thing that film industry is made fun of at such award nights. I feel it ridicules the award itself. On one side, I am feeling very happy that I received an award for the best film. But I don’t think the demeanour of the award night has been at a good standard. No offence Sajid and Farah [Khan]. Personal remarks can also be made by me. Fun can be made even by me.”
To which Sajid replied, “You should go ahead, Ashu.” Ashutosh replied, “No, Sajid. There is a difference.”
He added, “I appeal with great earnesty to Sajid and Farah, stardom is a very difficult thing to achieve. We slog our time and ourselves. We spend time in making our scripts. An actor works really hard in honing of his talent. You cannot make fun of a star on this podium.”
Sajid interjected, “Tell me when I can speak Ashutosh.” Furious Ashutosh shot back, “Shut up Sajid.” To which Sajid replied, “You don’t tell me to shut up.”