Vinod Khanna, the veteran actor-politician who contested as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Gurdaspur in Punjab, says he expects "lots of changes to happen very fast" when "our government comes" after the elections.
The result of the elections will be announced May 16 and a confident Vinod said: "A lot of change is going to happen once our government comes. Lots of changes will happen very fast and quickly and you will see that happening at the grassroot level. We all talk about change at a very superficial level, but now it will come to the grassroot level. It will effectively change the lives of millions of people," Khanna told IANS in an interview after returning here from Punjab.
He says politics is his prime responsibility, but does manage to squeeze in time to act in films, a craft he knows well. However, when it comes to direction, he feels now it's too late to fulfil his long-cherished dream. "I wanted to direct many, many years ago. I was almost co-director to all my directors," the 67-year-old who featured in hits like "Qurbani" and "Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, disclosed.
"I always used to take active interest in direction. I also used to study cinematography, screenplay writing - all kind of things. I wanted to direct, but now I feel it's too big a responsibility to take on," added Vinod, who had produced his younger son Akshaye's launch pad "Himalay Putra" in 1997.
In the last few years, the $2 billion Indian cinema industry has undergone a lot of changes - for instance marketing and promotional activities have become a vital tool of the filmmaking business. Also, too many awards have mushroomed.
He praised the acceptance of comedies by the audiences. "Comedy is welcomed. Everybody has grown out of his or her chambers of the 1960s. The mindset has changed and audiences are open to realities. Nobody wants to live a life that is surpassed any more, especially the younger generation."
Asked about the awards, Vinod told IANS: "I don't know, I feel too many awards make it a joke. But definitely I feel that some awards are very prestigious awards, but it should be done in a nice and transparent way."
The actor-politician, who generally shies away from the media, blames his political career and the lack of a Public Relations (PR) agency for this. "It's just that I don't have any PR agency and I am more concerned about my constituency and political work," said the actor, who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 1997 and is a three-time MP (1998, 1999, 2004) from Gurdaspur in Punjab. He lost in 2009 and is again contesting from the constituency, where polling was held April 30. "Acting is my bread and butter, so it's not something that I pursue as much as I should because this was the only thing that I was trained and now I have come to politics and that's a great responsibility. We are looking at 300 million people and their needs; so you have to be constantly in touch. So that takes all our time," he added.
Meanwhile, Vinod is seen in Asshu Trikha's recently released "Koyelaanchal", along with Suniel Shetty, among others. The actor, who started his career as a villain in Sunil Dutt's 1968 film "Man Ka Meet", etches the role of a Mafioso in the coal mafia drama.