Director Ram Gopal Varma has stated in his autobiography ‘Guns & Thighs’ that it had been a mistake casting megastar Amitabh Bachchan in films like ‘Nishabd’ and ‘Aag’.
RGV wrote in his book that though Amitabh could be guilty of placing his trust in him, he did give his best to the films, “If somebody argues that Amitji had no business doing those films without knowing what he was getting into, yes, he was guilty of misplacing his trust in me, but he was not guilty of not doing his best.”
In a chapter titled ‘My love affair with Amitabh Bachchan’, Varma recounted how Big B’s make-up man had told him on the first day of Nishabd’s shoot that the film would not work but the director admitted, “By that time my proximity to him had blunted my sensibilities as a viewer of his star performances and the filmmaker in me got greedy and dumb enough to experiment with him as an actor, resulting in Nishabd and Aag. It’s not so much the quality of those films that I am talking about here but the idea of casting him in those roles.”
However RGV makes it clear that Amitabh gave his best to these movies and that he has never failed as an actor and its only directors who may have failed to capture his art in the right context.
RGV also talks about Nishabd’s lead actress Jiah Khan in his book. Varma wrote in his book that he cried uncontrollably when he got the news of her suicide even though he was never really close to her, “When I heard of her suicide, I cried uncontrollably though I was never really close to her. She was one of the few people who couldn’t cope with the disappointments and frustrations the film industry is replete with.”
RGV also addresses his critics in his book and states, “… all my successes were by default and all my failure were by intent. To those critics, who complain that I make films in a hurry, my answer is that, I would rather live in the moment and make my film right now, than endlessly plan in the hope of it becoming a masterpiece…Incidentally, the longest time I have taken and maximum money I have spent in my career on three film — Daud, Aag and Department — which are three of my biggest flops. I rest my case.”