A Man of Action

Even as his film R... Rajkumar is yet to release,Prabhudheva slips into the director’s role for Action Jackson.

Written by Alaka Sahani | Published:November 19, 2013 5:17 am

When Prabhudheva walks into his vanity van for this interview,there is hardly any trace of the nimble dancer who made the nation wonder if his body was made of jelly. He exudes the calmness required of a director while helming an Ajay Devgn-starrer and the excitement of “a child in a Disneyland” on the first day of Action Jackson’s shooting after a Diwali break. At Filmistan Studio,Prabhudheva has already slipped into the director’s role even as the pre-release buzz around R… Rajkumar — directed by him and featuring Shahid Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha — continues. As he talks about his love for direction and the thrill of creating something new,he unwittingly lets out what might have made him one of the most successful makers of masala movies with blockbusters such as Wanted and Rowdy Rathore under his belt. Excerpts from the interview:

The shooting for Action Jackson has already started. Have you moved on from R…Rajkumar?

Not really. During the day,I shoot for Action Jackson,and in the evening,I sit with my team to work on the background score and other aspects of R…Rajkumar,whose shooting and editing is now complete. We have already done 33 days of shooting for Action Jackson.

What’s your fascination with action films?

I am not the one who is fascinated by them; my producers are. Even when I suggest some other story to them,they insist on action movies. It’s mainly because of the success of my previous movies in this genre.

After doing so many action movies,how do you ensure that audience interest is retained?

Like everyone else,I am trying to entertain them. Mostly,I brainstorm with a writer and a screenplay writer for days together. We discuss it while travelling together as Mumbai traffic ensures that we spend a lot of time on the road. We sit together till late at night,and the same process is repeated the next morning. The story is sealed when all three of us love it. Twists and turns are added to it later on.

The screenplay takes another six months. We work on it scene by scene and analyse every bit of it. When my writers create a scene that has 10 lines,I ask them to reduce it to three. Cinema is a visual medium. Instead of making it verbose,I want to focus on the visuals. We also delve into the emotions of each character.

Since Hindi is not one of your strengths,does it hinder your contribution to the screenplays?

I am very comfortable with Hindi. The problem is that I can’t talk fluently in it. When I did Pukaar,I did not understand the language much. I have been living here for the last two years,and my Hindi is much better now. As a director,I must understand each word. I am doing very big projects. Without knowing the language,I can’t do justice to them.

How was the song Gandi Baat,which has become so popular,composed and choreographed?

For R…Rajkumar,I am working with Pritam for the first time. He composed the song in 15 minutes. While choreographing it,I told Shahid Kapoor to let go of himself and not to be bothered about performing the steps with perfection.

You have directed so many remakes. What kind of thought goes into them?

We have to recreate the same magic; it’s tough. Had it been easy,every film would have been remade. However,I have also directed several original scripts,including R…Rajkumar and Action Jackson.

After ABCD — Any Body Can Dance,are we going to see you act in another film?

I don’t plan anything. I am enjoying direction at the moment. I like the challenge of creating something new everyday and the responsibility that comes with it. It’s an amazing feeling,like a child in Disneyland.

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