+

No one is allowed to look into Tom Cruise’s eyes: Mira Nair

Hollywood director Mira Nair, who has made films like Amelia, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and Queen of Katwe, was in attendance at the New York Indian Film Festival. In an interaction with Shabana Azmi, Mira Nair spoke about how actors needed to connect with the common people no matter how famous they became. When Mira asked […]

Hollywood director Mira Nair, who has made films like Amelia, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and Queen of Katwe, was in attendance at the New York Indian Film Festival. In an interaction with Shabana Azmi, Mira Nair spoke about how actors needed to connect with the common people no matter how famous they became.

When Mira asked Shabana how she keeps herself ‘sprightly’ as an actor between roles, Shabana replied, “An actor’s resource base has to be life. When you’re alive to everything that is happening around you, that is the fuel, that is the experience. Because what happens with stars is that as they become bigger and bigger, they move away from life completely. You get into an ivory tower, and there’s no chance that you will have even the slightest contact with the real world.”

But what was a big revelation was when Mira Nair spoke working with Hollywood stars and said Hollywood star Tom Cruise had a stipulation in his contract that people on the set couldn’t look at him directly in the eye. When a surprised Shabana Azmi prodded, Mira told the Indian actor that this was indeed true. “I don’t know! But it’s in the contract. I’m telling you. Serious. Maybe he believes that his juice will be robbed by people perhaps, let’s conserve it for the screen. I don’t know. But this is real.”
Shabana Azmi then asked how an actor could act if someone doesn’t look at you and Mira laughed saying, “The actors and director can (look at him). But not aam log (ordinary people).

I’m telling you. Anyway, this might have changed. I shouldn’t be talking so much about somebody I’ve only just seen and not been able to see…but in any case, it is true.”

Tags: