Sanjay Leela Bhansali deconstructs his magical world of movies, counters criticism and indulges in producer speak all within the same interview! Excerpts from a lengthy conversation on movies and more.
Do you believe in the X factor?
X factor is something that cannot be defined. Some people have it and you know it when you see it. Dilip (Kumar) saab or Amitabh Bachchan or Ranbir Kapoor in Saawariya. It is evident in that moment of magic you create with your performance — for instance, Govinda when he is dancing. Or Helen aunty. Among singers, it would have to be Sonu Niigaam, Shreya Ghoshal and Sunidhi Chauhan during their performance.
Is the X factor a criteria for people whom you choose as actors for your movies?
Absolutely. It is essential. There are so many kids I auditioned during Black, but why did I choose that particular girl (Ayesha Kapoor)? Because of the X factor. I had seen a picture of her running away from the camera — a still picture. It was a back shot with her hair flying but I felt there was something in that girl. The co-ordinator was aghast because I had not even seen her face, just her hair flying, but a certain aura was enough. Ranbir has the X factor that is so evident. And it is not only big stars that have it but even actors like Shernaz Patel or Suhel Seth who I worked with, they are all so charismatic while performing.