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She’s the Man

I have not calmed down at all. With every movie you feel you will calm down but then there are new teething problems that come up. With Tees Maar Khan it was slightly better.

Written by PriyankaPereira |
November 12, 2010 5:03:05 am

After giving two blockbusters Main Hoon Na and Om Shanti Om,has the filmmaker in you learnt to relax?

I have not calmed down at all. With every movie you feel you will calm down but then there are new teething problems that come up. With Tees Maar Khan it was slightly better. Everything was under our control as we owned the production house.

Was launching the production house a long-pending plan?

It actually happened overnight. My husband Shirish Kunder had written the Tees Maar Khan script and asked me to direct the film. We went to a lot of producers but nothing really worked out. So we decided to produce it. After all production pays very well.

Tees Maar Khan looks like a complete entertainer. What is it about masala films that you really enjoy?

I love the mad humour,all the clichés and songs. But TMK is slightly different. It is a heist film with a strange plot. Shirish has taken the story from Indian folk tales. The hero is straight out of Amar Chitra Katha but has been transformed to look contemporary and appeal to international audiences.

Is it flattering to be called the Manmohan Desai of this era?

I am glad they are comparing me to him. His films may have been called popcorn entertainment then,but we remember them to this day. However he was not my favourite director. Since childhood,I have loved Nasir Hussain and Vijay Anand films.

Why is the con film an untouched genre in Bollywood?

It takes intelligence to find a good con and then enact it in films. TMK is character-based and we have made it that way so that we can take the brand forward. It is like Austin Powers and Pink Panther,a franchise which can be built on.

Does that mean that you are planning a sequel.

We have already started work on the sequel. It is in the pre-production stages now.

What made you choose Akshay Kumar to play a conman?

Akshay is a lovable crook. Sometimes while you are talking to him,you will find your watch missing.

Shah Rukh Khan’s six pack abs in Om Shanti Om were a talking point. What special element do you have in TMK?

One must watch out for Katrina Kaif’s well-toned body in the song Sheila Ki Jawaani. She hasn’t looked better or danced better.

You had once said that you won’t do a film without Shah Rukh Khan. Was it disheartening to not have him in TMK?

It was not disheartening because it was the decision I took. I was apprehensive initially,but once I take a decision I take it head on,wear blinkers and move ahead.

Is there any animosity between you two?

Even if we don’t meet for years,Shah Rukh will always remain my friend. There is no animosity and I can speak for him as well. Whatever happened between us only we know. Shah Rukh has chosen not to speak about it,so I too will not.

Would you work with him in future?

There was a time when I thought I wouldn’t do a film without Shah Rukh,and now my third film is ready for release without even a guest appearance by him. So I don’t know what the future holds.

You have always maintained that Shirish and you will never work together. Now that you have done that,how would you describe the experience?

We drew up a list of things that I cannot interfere in and vice versa. Shirish was a hands-on producer. He got us great deals. We even finished shooting 12 days before schedule. And I never questioned his production sensibilities because it is difficult when the producer comes home with you.

What are the changes motherhood has brought to your professional life?

It has become more fun. My children,Czar,Anya and Diva,often come along with us for outdoors. But I guess once they grow up,I have to do movies according to their school schedules.

Is Happy New Year your next project?

No. I am yet to complete the script. Next,we start work on Joker,which Shirish will be directing and I will be the active producer. In late 2011,I will start writing another script.

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