Exclusive Christopher Lee interview

With more than 200 film appearances under his belt, Christopher Lee has achieved super-stardom only in recent years thanks to his role as Saruman in the Lord of The Rings trilogy as well as his involvement in the Star Wars prequels. But by his own admission his finest hour on celluloid came when playing Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. Don't be expecting to see this film in your local multiplex though - after 6 years in limbo, the film has finally seen the light of day in the UK with a DVD release and indeed Lee's performance is riveting. We caught up with him for a brief interview...

Why has Jinnah been such an important film for you to see released?

Because it was the most important part that I have ever played as an actor. It was a great challenge and a great responsibility. It is very important that the world should know the story one of the most remarkable men on the 20th century, who founded a nation.

Did you ever get the feeling the project was cursed given the amount of setbacks it received?

No, I never got that feeling. The reception I got from 99% of the people in Pakistan was totally positive. I was thanked for coming and for playing the part. Of course, I was aware of the many problems involved but I did not really know what they were. I knew the government had withdrawn its investment, but I have never been told exactly why this was done.

Given your quite different backgrounds, did you find it quite difficult to come to terms with the role of Jinnah?

No, I am an actor. I already knew a great deal about Jinnah. I was chosen to present him and his life on the screen.

Do you have any other projects in the making that has grabbed your inspiration?

The answer to that is yes. I have other projects during the next few months, but I never say what they are until they have been completed. Call that the superstition of an actor

Finally, given that your performance in the final instalment of the Lord of The Rings and Jinnah are only going to be seen on DVD, do you think this new digital medium is a blessing or rather an easy way for film studios to refuse to promote a film theatrically?

I feel that these films in DVD will probably have a larger audience than the cinema-going public. One must remember that the advantage of a DVD is that the people of the world can see this in the privacy of their own homes, which is easier for them than going to a cinema or a theatre.

Jinnah will be reviewed on this website soon. It is available at www.jinnahmovie.com

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