Interview with Anu Hasan
By Ergo Correspondent
You are a BITS-ian. How did the media entries (yes, in plural) happen?
My sister, Suhasini, was directing a movie and she wanted someone new as well as competent. She thought I would fit the bill and asked me. That is how Indira happened. The first entry, in 1994.
After this, I exited and then made my second entry in TV serials in 2000, on a whim. This period lasted four years. I also started off with a role in Run, where I play the hero’s sister. I got bored doing the same martyred woman role on TV and the beloved elder sister on film. So I exited again.
Then, after two years of handling production, I again made an entry – this time as a chat show host. That’s 2006. I am also dabbling in films. I have no idea when my next exit or re-entry is going to be.
Chat shows are not new to television. Not many have left a lasting impression as your show has done. What do you attribute this success to?
You talk about my show as if it’s finished. Only something that ends leaves a lasting impression. I think the reason Koffee with Anu works is that I am very clear that my guests are my stars, not me.
I want them to be happy and I want our viewers to take back something from these highly accomplished people – something more than how many songs they have sung or how many films they have directed or acted in. As long as I am able to do that, it will work. The day people start seeing the celebrity rather than the person is the day I will begin to fail and also the day which will herald my next exit.
Tell us about Anu Hasan, the entrepreneur
I have created companies, built them, sold my stake in them. I have worked with a male workforce in Calcutta while running a direct marketing agency. I now run a juice and smoothies store with a 100 per cent female workforce. We are, at the moment, negotiating a takeover since I am getting more and more tied up with media-related work. I will stay on as consultant maybe. Of course, you’ve heard of best laid plans of mice and men…..
How has the ‘Haasan’ tag helped you in your career?
I have been my own person for as far as I can recall. I’ve never done anything simply because I am from a prominent family. The surname is Hasan, by the way, if it is mine. Haasan if it is Mr. Kamal Haasan’s. There’s some difference.
When did you develop a love for jazz music?
I love music per se. I love singing. Someone heard my voice and thought it had a good timbre and suggested I pick up jazz, which I did. I am no expert, but I do have a few jazz numbers in my motley repertoire.
The best compliment you have received?
“You radiate happiness”
Your best critic?
How does it feel to don the role of a female cop?
Feels awesome. My friends initially were very amused to see me because they claimed they could see the excitement in my eyes. And that I wasn’t in the least bit intimidating. But I wear the uniform almost everyday and now have forgotten the impact unless I happen to see guys scampering away once they see me, leaving behind a slipper.
10 years from now?
Alive, hopefully. And growing potatoes and cauliflowers or maybe geraniums in Kodai. Running a bed and breakfast, maybe.