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    Feb 2010


    Default We hope that 'Rush' will change the face of Indian Television, avers Milind Soman

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    Milind Soman, the man has many a feathers in his cap, starting from being a National Swimming Champion to one of Indiaís most successful male models, to proving his worth as an actor, and then broadening his vision by turning a producer.

    After his production company Face Entertainment made nonfiction properties like Kingfisher Calendar Hunt and Band Baajaa Bride (NDTV Good Times), Milindís company now comes up with a 13 part film titled Rush for MTV.

    We caught up with this 47 year old guy at the launch party of the show and quizzed him about various facets of his life.

    What do you feel about Rush?

    We have created something mad by bringing together the most talented people in Bollywood, starting from the technicians, directors, actors as well as the music industry. This 13 part movie is based on 12 characters, and we hope that this will change the face of Indian television. Till now, Face Entertainment was happy producing nonfiction content related to cooking and fashion. We always like to push the envelope, hence when MTV came up with this idea of Rush, we took it up. We have shot Rush in both HD and Dolby sound. The whole process, from the conceptualization to the shooting stage did not last for more than four months; hence we find the title very apt.

    Will a 13 episode show click with the audience, given the fact that dailies rule the roost?

    I guess that is the channelís call. Having said this, such short season shows have worked on Star World. I think the important thing here is that you get the audience interested in the show before the first episode airs, and once that happens they will stick by you. I think MTV has achieved this with very expensive promotional campaigns.

    You have been a TV producer for long, how has the small screen space changed over the years?

    I began my work way back in 1998, under a different company and my first show was Margarita for Zee TV. Things have changed phenomenally since then, when there was only one big private channel (Zee TV and Doordarshan) to now where you have hundreds of channels across different genres, broadcasting in myriad Indian languages and not just Hindi and English. This way, producers have much more opportunities. However on the flip side, because producers cannot retain copyright they cannot make extra money by syndicating big and better concepts to other players later. This way our creativity is not given the freedom we want.

    Why did you zero in Bijoy Nambiar (Shaitan fame) as series director for Rush?

    Since this was something new for Face and because we were working for a happening channel like MTV, there were only 2/3 names which came up for discussion. We called Bijoy and he agreed to come on board and shared some concepts which we loved.

    If differences arise, who will have the final say?

    Creative differences are bound to crop up, but they are resolved amicably because we share the same sensibilities. Real issues occur only if you have different objectives i.e. say, if he wanted to make a Sholay and I wanted a Love Sex and Dhokha.

    Whatís next on the acting front?

    I am working in Vijayís next film David, my last film Jodi Breakers had tanked. I donít work much as an actor may be 70/80 days a year. I do different kind of projects be in Hindi, English (Valley of Flowers and The Flag), Marathi (Gandha), Tamil (Pachaikili Muthucharam) or Swedish (Arn - Riket vid všgens ****).

    How do you evaluate your growth as actor over the years?

    Over the years I have become very comfortable with the medium, for I know what I want.

    When you started acting, there was a school of thought that models could not act. What do you feel about it?

    I found it very funny; I was not really bothered as it was not my bread and butter. It is strange that thousands of people come to Mumbai to act, yet no one makes it. On the other hand, if out of 20 models five make it big, we get a success rate of 25%. Also canít a painter become an actor? If one really wants, he can!

    Being a sportsman, what do you think are Indiaís chances at the London Olympics?

    Hopefully we can grab some medals in archery, boxing and wrestling.

    What about swimming?

    We were much better during my time, but still miles away from a possible podium finish at the global level.

    Among all the hats (sportsman, model, actor and producer) you wear, which are you most comfortable with?

    I love all of them. I became a model first, when I had no clue of what I was doing. I did not know that one gets paid to walk. It was a challenge, for I was a sportsman entering the glamour field. Plus my background was different; I was an engineer and my family is full of doctors. Acting again, happened by accident. I take it more seriously now when I have no time. Now I make sure that what I ever I do, be it acting, production or run a marathon, I give my cent percent.



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