Mumbai: Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali on his alleged friends-turned-foes, being a happy person, his films and more.

How is a semi-recluse like you coping with the demands of aggressive promotion for your forthcoming venture?

It's a kind of an upheaval. Today, marketing and promotion of a movie are as important as making it. I did just two interviews before the release of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.

Today, I'm doing at least 10 a day. I'm working hard to reach out to more people, but without any controversies or negativity.

 Do you think you've changed with time?

People had this image of me being a dark brooding filmmaker because of the films I've made. On the contrary, I have always been a fun-loving and happy person. Today thanks to the aggressive promotions, I'm reaching out to people more than I used to, and I must admit I'm enjoying it. I'm learning to be more chilled out though.

My Friend Pinto and Rowdy Rathore are a sharp contrast to the kind of cinema you've directed so far...

I want to produce the kind of films I don't myself make because maybe I don't have the attitude to direct them. If I produce my kind of cinema, there would be a clash of interest because it's my forte.

Reportedly, not Prateik, but Ranbir Kapoor was the first choice for My Friend Pinto...

Ranbir is the kind of actor I'd consider for every film, like Madhuri Dixit. But I didn't offer this one to Ranbir. My Friend Pinto was always for Prateik.

Given the mixed reviews he got for Aarakshan, weren't you worried whether he could pull this off?

The way Prateik behaves and responds the role is completely for him. He's not corrupt. He hasn't lost his mind or become egoistical. We needed someone without any image or that excess baggage.

You've signed Farah Khan opposite Boman Irani in your sister Bela's directorial debut. Since the clash with her Om Shanti Om, was it tough burying differences?

A good friendship never goes sour. It shouldn't take more than a minute to clear the misunderstanding and restart from where it was left off. Farah and I share an intense friendship. If there's any misunderstanding with someone, I'll call the person. If they come around, good. If they don't, it's okay.

What about your equation with Salman Khan and Ajay Devgn? You've had clashes with both...

I've no problems with Ajay; that was with his film's director. I had a blast working with Ajay in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Same goes with Salman. He's in his nice happy successful space. Sometimes you get lost. But it's not that we'll never talk or work together again.

So when do we see you working with them or Shah Rukh Khan again?

I got along very well with all my actors.  When you care for your actors and friends, you share chemistry. They may not be working with me today, but there's no unhappiness. After a gap of time, I can revisit and rediscover them as actors again. This script is God. If it demands a particular actor, you'll have to go to him/her whether the actor says yes or no.

Lastly, which of these actors will make it to your dream movie Bajirao Mastani?

When I decide to make it, I'll talk about it. I've three scripts ready, but in about a month I should be able to make up my mind on which I'll direct next.

(Courtesy: Mid-day.com)