Warren Anderson had shut his life out and chose to remain inhuman, says the very accomplished Hollywood actor Martin Sheen, who essays the Union Carbide chief in “Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain”, a movie which relives the Bhopal gas disaster, 30 years after its occurence.
In an interview, Sheen has spoken about his life, cinema, career and new role as Anderson in Ravi Kumar’s “Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain”, which releases Dec 5.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q. You’ve portrayed Warren Anderson in “Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain” as an out-and-out villain?
A. 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. But he never made a single move towards us.
Q. It was almost as though he had shut that entire episode out?
A. Well, in that case, he had shut his life out. He had an opportunity to become human. He chose to remain inhuman.
Q. You have spent a major part of your life trying to be a responsible human and artiste. Amazingly enough, you’ve never won an Oscar?
A. (laughs heartily). I am not amazed.
Q. Why? Aren’t you aware of your talent?
A. It’s a gift from god. So it’s nothing I can brag about. I’m very happy that I’ve been able to make a living doing what I love most in the world. I’ve been able to do things that I never thought possible. I’ve travelled to many enchanting places, including India. I’ve led an amazing life and I give thanks every day that I’ve had such a life. I don’t think I can be any happier even if I received an Oscar.
Q. So you don’t covet an Oscar in spite of your brilliant body of work?
A. It wouldn’t make me sad if I received it. But I don’t look forward to it. In life, sometimes, you just do what you have to do without thinking of the rewards and affect on the audience. You do it (the acting) for yourself. I do what I do because I cannot not do it and be myself.
Q. You’ve worked with some of the best directors including Francis Coppola, Richard Attenborough, Oliver Stone, Terence Mallick, Mike Nichols and Martin Scorsese. Whom did you enjoy working with the most?
A. All my directors have a place in my heart. Terence 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.
Q. Why is that?
A. I’ve never worked with a director who loved his actors more. I adore him. And I’m a huge fan of his work. When I did ‘The Departed’ with him, it was a great experience.