KIRAN KUMAR ‘‘I have always believed in premarital sex”

We reproduce an interview with KIRAN KUMAR by JYOTHI VENKATESH which appeared 40 years ago in Free Press Bulletin dated August 6, 1976

By Jyothi Venkatesh

Kiran wasn’t the busiest star this side of the Suez Canal when the clamp down by the censors threw the film industry in disarray. Yet Kiran has been affected by the curb on excessive sex and violence on the Indian screen. His Abhi To Jee Le has been banned while quite a few among his films are being re-shot in order to qualify for a clean chit from the vigilant Censors.

At the moment, however, Kiran is waiting with his fingers crossed for the release of his film Shahi Lutera. “It is a Robinhood type of fantasy in which Asha Sachdev has been teamed opposite me. With Asha, I am also in Andaza. She is a nice girl to work with, quite contrary to the reputation she has got as a trouble maker of late.”
Beneath his rough exterior, Kiran has got a soft heart. At first glance, Kiran strikes one as an arrogant upstart. But once you start knowing the real Kiran, you realize that he is a likeable young man, full of ambition, determined to fight against odds in life and achieve his goal.

To set the ball rolling when I met him for this tete- tete at his Bandra residence last Sunday morning, I asked Kiran whether he was pleased with the progress he has made in his career so far.

“With the kind of progress that I have made, I neither feel elated nor do I have any regrets. Right now, I am in the second phase of my career. The first phase ended with Jalte Badan. Before the release of Jalte Badan, I had fared averagely in the industry. The film did not run and after that my progress slackened and believe it or not, for four months I was out of job.”

“However, minor set backs do not dishearten me any longer. I am careful enough to see to it that I do not repeat my past mistakes. I used to accept any film without considering the other aspects of the film. Today, even though I may lose quite a few offers, I am quite choosy. Why, recently I even refused a tempting offer to work in a multi star film, because the character that I was offered had nothing to do in that film. I don’t want to be a sucker, while others around overshadow me. I will do a role only if I am sure that I will be noticed in the film.”

What type of role do you think is your forte? I asked Kiran. “Though basically I am cut out for emotional roles, I am prepared to do any role which is significant from the point of view of the story. I feel that the overall turn out of the film is more important today than because one single man can no longer pull a film except Dharmendra. Every character in a film must be properly justified because the audience is very intelligent today, unlike in the past. Every character should serve some purpose or the other in the film. Gone are those days when the hero had to be chocolate- faced. The days of the HERO are gone.”
Why did you join the Pune Film Institute when you could have cashed in on the name of your father Jeevan and gate crashed into films even without a diploma in acting? I asked Kiran point blank. Kiran paused for a minute, sipped his tea and continued. “It was Shatrughan Sinha who suggested that I join the FTII in order to gain an entry in films, when I met him for the first time on the sets of Devsaab’s Gambler in which Shatru was making his debut after coming out of the Institute.

“I began my career with an eminent director like Abbas Saab in an art film like Do Boond Paani opposite Madhu Chanda. Madhu is another fine artiste who is languishing in the industry, in spite of her talent. I’d love to do art films under the direction of Basu Chatterjee and Gulzar. I admire them among the directors for their grip on the audience psychology

“I started work on Do Boond Paani even before I passed out of the Institute. It was Jalal Agha, my colleague at the Institute who introduced me to Abbas Saheb, when he was on the look-out for a hero in his film. It fared averagely at the box office when my next Bindiya Aur Bandook opposite Asha Sachdev was a smash hit at the box office. It was Joginder’s film.”

After Bindiya Aur Bandook, followed an array of films to the credit of Kiran like Jangal Mein Mangal opposite Reena Roy, Aaj Ki Taaja Khabar opposite Radha Saluja, Savera opposite Rehana Sultan, Raja Kaka opposite Vidya Sinha, Chalaak and Free Love both opposite Yogeeta Bali, Mr Romeo and Jalte Badan. With the exception of Jangal
Mein Mangal and Aaj Ki Taaja Khabar, all the films flopped at the box office and prevented Kiran from zooming to the top echelons of stardom and weakened his pace.

But Kiran Kumar has no regrets. He is determined to achieve in the field of acting before branching out
to another field in the industry. “After achieving overall success in the field of acting, I’ll take to direction. I am not the kind of person who will give up easily. But take it from me, once I take up direction, I‘ll not act at the same time because in that case, I will have the tendency to focus on my one self in the film more than the co-stars.”

What are his views about the film press? “Today the press doesn’t unnerve me. It has become more sober and clean thanks to Shri V. P. Shukla. It was the press which had projected a flamboyant image of mine in public. I don’t blame the press for it. For I have always believed in pre marital sex. I like girls. I am absolutely a normal human being, yaar, not a sex starved maniac as some mags dubbed me.”

Kiran Kumar does not like to talk about Rekha. “We are only good friends. Hence the question of marriage doesn’t at all arise, you see. Further take it from me, I can never marry a film star. Two people from the same profession cannot make their marriage a success. A clash of egos is bound to set in sooner or later.

Now Miss Rekha, are you reading this?

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