Vikram Bhatt: I like to peddle fear

Raaz 3D with Bipasha Basu, Emraan Hashmi and Esha Gupta is slated to release on September 7, 2012. The director of the film – Vikram Bhatt – gets candid with us

Vikram Bhatt’s grave tone smacks of confidence. And even though he’s written off by critics and condemned by movie aficionados every now and then, VB continues making the kind of movies that appeal to him. His reserved voice intimidates us for a moment, but as the conversation reaches an intense level, we realise he’s a fun person to chat with, even though he claims that he’s not…

What’s with your fascination with horror films?

I think every director likes to peddle some kind of sensation over others. I like to peddle fear.

Your favourite horror flicks?

Exorcism of Emily Rose, I also like the Paranormal Activities – the whole series – and Omen.

Since Raaz 3D revolves around the concept of black magic, do you think it will go down well with people who are well read?

I think everybody believes in the good and the evil. You cannot believe in the good without believing in the evil, ‘coz it’s the yin and yang of the world. I think even well read people and the intelligentsia believe in acchi nazar and buri nazar. As a matter of fact, I really want to know what percentage of the country is not superstitious. And if people don’t completely trust black magic, there are lots of them who acknowledge the existence of positive and negative energies.

Has it ever bothered you that people have related the Bhatts only with certain kinds of films – those that have a lot of bold scenes and skin show? Didn’t you ever feel like getting out of that zone?

No, why should I? In fact, I think sexuality is good and I believe that it’s better to be known for something than to be known for nothing. And at least the kind of sensuality we portray is not hypocritical. C’mon, we live in a modern day world where men and women are getting more progressive. I don’t think it’s a big deal any more.

Ram Gopal Varma was the official king of horror movies at one point of time. It’s you now. How does it feel?

Well, it’s not that we were fighting for the coveted title. These are titles given to you when you do well and are snatched away when you don’t. I am simply happy being me.

Are you really a fan of the horror genre, or is it just a lucrative business for you?

I don’t think you can do justice to something you don’t really love. Somewhere I do feel fear – palpable fear. I associate a lot of things with fear. I’ve known fear up close and personal. So I definitely like to tell scary stories.

What are the challenges you faced while making Raaz 3D?

There were more pressures than challenges. Raaz, Shaapit, Haunted, 1920 – they all have done so well, that the pressure was just too much. Thoughts like: is it going to be scary enough? is it going to be good enough? bothered me the most.

Didn’t Bipasha Basu have reservations when her onscreen life in Raaz 3D was being compared to her real state?

I don’t think Bipasha is a bullshitter. She pretty much understands where her life is at. And she knows what is based on her and what is not. It’s just that when she signed Raaz, she had a couple of duds on her resume. If Players and Jodi Breakers did well, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Have you experienced anything supernatural till now?

Yes, almost every week. I like to keep it private and don’t like discussing it. The reason is that those who believe in it think it’s fine, but those who don’t, think it’s a joke.

Will we ever see VB directing a serious film?

No, I am a typical Bollywood filmmaker. I don’t see and do anything beyond that.

Are you a people’s person or a person who likes to be in his own world?

I am huge loner and extremely introverted.  I don’t go anywhere. On a level of depression and euphoria, I am leaning more on the depression side of life. I would say 5/10 on the euphoria level. I like to read lot, research a lot and watch a lot of documentaries. I think I brood – that’s the kinda person I am. I am not a very fun person to be with.

Why don’t your relationships last? What’s the one hindrance you face every time you fall for someone?

Me, myself – I am the hindrance. I am not made for relationships. I can be a good friend, but I am not a good boyfriend or a good husband.

Is it the commitment part that scares you?

No, it’s not that, it’s just that I am so much of a loner that it’s unfair to the other person who’s with me,  and I need a lot of space. And if you need space, you shouldn’t be in a relationship.

Not even one relationship that gave you a glimmer of hope that this is meant to last…?

Unfortunately, I haven’t had that one yet.

Who’s your favourite Khan and why?

I’ve worked with Aamir, so I have known him as a friend. I haven’t worked with Salman or Shahrukh. I don’t even know them personally. I can’t gauge the Khans as well as the audience, which is why I can’t see myself being a hardcore fan of anybody apart from Mr Amitabh Bachchan, of course!