Mohit Suri can’t stop thanking his stars for the success of ‘Aashiqui 2’https://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/mohit-suri-cant-stop-thanking-his-stars-for-the-success-of-aashiqui-2/

Mohit Suri can’t stop thanking his stars for the success of ‘Aashiqui 2’

Mohit Suri is happy with his life at the moment.

Mohit Suri can’t stop thanking his stars for his happiness. “By stars I don’t mean Aditya and Shraddha,” he jokes. “I mean the stars above. People say the kind of sublime ideal love I’ve shown in Aashiqui 2 doesn’t exist. I say,come home. I’ve the perfect love at home. Udita cares for me unconditionally. So I am allowing her to take full credit for the success of Aashiqui 2.”

Mohit recalls 2012 as the darkest phase of his life. “People said I couldn’t make a film with new actors and expect an audience to come in. But I was pretty sure I wanted Aditya and Shraddha to play my protagonists. My writer Shagufta Rafique and I saw them as the protagonists. See,Aditya and Shraddha may have had unsuccessful films before. But that never took away from their talent. Sure sometimes films don’t work out. Even I’ve had failures.”

Interestingly Mohit had offered Shraddha another film. “And she had rejected it long back! I remember when I met her for the first time she came out with oil in her hair and wearing specs. She was talking to her mother in Marathi. But when I met her the next time she had changed into a typical heroine with groomed hair and full makeup. I told her I had come to her for the way she looked earlier. Poor thing,she was confused.”

As for Aditya Roy Kapoor,it was a failed talent hunt that landed him the role.

Shudders Mohit,”We had this wise idea of launching a nationwide talent for new faces in Aashiqui 2. That idea fell flat on its face. The youngsters who came forward were not good enough and some who were promising agreed to download their videos for a screen-test only if we promised them a role. So we gave up. Then I saw Aditya’s pictures. When I met him I was convinced he was my Rahul Jaikar. Unlike the other aspirants he didn’t meet me dressed like a star reeking of expensive perfume. Some of them even had their eyebrows done! Aditya came in his shorts. And he didn’t show any unnecessary excitement. He just told me honestly,’My brother (producer Siddharth Roy Kapoor) says you’re a good director.’ Aditya was not aware of the impact of the original Aashiqui. So he responded to my script and his characters without any baggage. That tilted the scale in his favour. Also Aditya used to be a lead singer in a band,he knows how to play the guitar,so playing a musician came naturally to him.”

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Reacting to critics saying Aditya doesn’t have the body language of a musician,Mohit shrugs,”That’s exactly what I didn’t want,the know-it-all body language.”

Also Mohit needed contrasting personalities. “Shraddha and Aditya are two completely different individuals. That’s what we needed. And they were not stressed by having to repeat the Aashiqui success.”

Tell him there was no need for the Aashiqui references in his film as his film has nothing to do with Aashiqui that came 23 years ago,and Mohit jumps to the title’s defence. “Aashiqui is a brand. And I come from a brand that’s Vishesh Films. I needed to depend on these two brands to take my film forward because I had no stars to carry my film. Aashiqui immediately branded my film as a romantic work. And I got a ‘U’ certificate from the censor board although it had some intimacy and a lot alcoholism. I remember when we had gone to get my film Murder 2 certified there was already a prejudice against it with the censor board treating it as an ‘A’ film before it was screened.”

The title also helped Mohit position the product in his own head. “Somewhere since the film was about music the focus would’ve shifted away from the romance to the music. I kept telling everyone on the sets this film is not about the music industry.”

Speaking of the original Aashiqui,Mohit jumps to its defence. “The performances may be a bit outdated now. Acting keys have changed. But Mahesh Bhatt Saab’s theme was very progressive. It had a mother who tells the heroine not to be economically dependent on a man. For a film that came 23 years ago that was quite radical.”

Mohit can’t help smiling at the vagaries of life. “I remember taking Aditya and Shraddha to Cape Town before the film’s release. And everyone kept asking,’Who are these people? Whom have you taken as your hero?’ Two days after release while boarding flights we were given preferential treatment because everyone on the airport recognized Shraddha and Aditya. At the airport when we did something as normal as hop into a rickshaw we couldn’t move an inch. The rickshaw was mobbed. Everyone wants to be photographed with Aditya and Shraddha. It’s crazy!”

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