Fifteen years in the industry and Kareena Kapoor’s been there and done that. From a…
Mumbai: Martin Sheen who has worked with practically every filmmaker in Hollywood worth working with, chats about his life, cinema, career and his new role as the late Warren Anderson in Ravi Kumar’s Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain.
Amazingly enough, you’ve never won an Oscar?
(Laughs) I’m not amazed.
Why? Aren’t you aware of your talent?
It’s a gift from God. It’s nothing I can brag about. I’m happy that I’ve been able to make a living doing what I love most in the world. I’ve travelled to many enchanting places, including India. I’ve led an amazing life. I don’t think I can be any happier even if I received an Oscar.
So you don’t covet an Oscar in spite of your body of work?
It wouldn’t make me sad if I received it. But I don’t look forward to it. You do it (the acting) for yourself. I do what I do because I cannot NOT do it and be myself.
Which director did you enjoy working with the most?
All my directors have a place in my heart. Terence Mallick is an old and dear friend. I also enjoyed working with Mike Nichols and Francis Coppola. But if you’re asking me which of these directors I’d like to work with again, I’d say Martin Scorsese without hesitation.
In Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain, you’ve portrayed Warren Anderson as an out-and-out villain?
We didn’t want to do a hatchet job on him, if you’ll pardon the expression. We didn’t want to make him an easy target. Anderson was still very much alive when we did the film. We tried to contact him and his family to show him our script.
We’ll see you in an Indian film soon?
I’d love to be in one. I love your country. I was in India in 1981 for a role in Gandhi for about six weeks with my son Emilio. But I was only in Delhi and Porbundar. I did visit Agra for the Taj Mahal. I also did the voiceover for a documentary on Kerala. But I couldn’t see Kerala. The closest I got it was Hyderabad where we shot for Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain.
And what do you think of India?
Your country people and culture had a profound effect on me in a deeply personal way. I am very comfortable in your culture. India is a nation of families. In your country people are not committed to be on their own.
Tell me about your new acting assignment?
I just finished a television series entitled Grace & Frankie. It’s a sitcom. I am pleased to have worked with Jane Fonda on this series. She is one of my heroes.