I was arrogant; my wife Anupama changed me, Vidhu Vinod Chopra


Filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra of ‘3 Idiots’, ‘Munnabhai’, ‘Peekay’ fame makes his Hollywood debut with ‘Broken Horses’ and on this special occasion, the ace filmmaker speaks to TOI and opens his heart about his movies, his passion for cinema, his ideology and about his wife Anupama Chopra.

When Vidhu Vinod Chopra was asked, whom he loves the most in the world, he replied it is his wife Anupama Chopra, a film critic whom he loves the most in the world and who has changed him a lot.

“My wife Anupama Chopra (she is his third wife). She has changed me. I have been with her for 20 years. I was a very arrogant, difficult, volatile and violent man. I am a much better human now living with her. She has brought out the best in me. She makes me want to be a better person and for her, I am constantly trying to be a better person. Can you imagine at the institute, I used to carry a big knife with me as I was anti ragging. I wasn't showing off. I would have actually killed anyone who would have ragged. Ragging stopped as they all knew how violent I genuinely was”, replied Chopra.

Speaking about the lowest phase in his life, the filmmaker said, “Surprisingly none. Coming from this small town, there is a strange kind of arrogance and confidence in me. There is a lot of Munna Bhai in me. But I think when Renu parted with me, was a low. We were married for 5-6 years and the reason we parted was that she did not want to have kids. Even after separating, we remained friends and she kept editing my films, but she was clear that she did not want kids. We then formally divorced. I felt very low when she died of cancer. She was a good woman and she didn't have to go so early”.

Is Vidhu a romantic person since he was married several times, the filmmaker said, “I was 19 when I married my first wife Renu Saluja in FTII. I have always loved women and had many women. I have always been a romantic at heart and have had many affairs in Kashmir, but now when I look back, I realise that I must have been crazy getting married at just 19. I remember Renu and I used to go to this yoga class and one day the yoga teacher asked me, 'Why has didi not come today?' I was so embarrassed that I did not have the courage to tell her, 'She is my wife.'

Vidhu Vinod Chopra said he has no friend in the industry. “No, as for me friendship is a big word. It means that I can kill someone for my friendship. By that definition, I don't have any friends in the industry. Friendship in the film industry is like the dialogue I wrote in Parinda, 'Yahan har rishta dhande pe tika hai'”, he said.

Why his Hollywood venture is named ‘Broken Horse’, “It's an interesting term of the West, where when they tame a wild horse, they say it's a broken horse. So, in the film, the character of the older brother Buddy is a broken horse”, he concludes.