Shoojit says when he approached Big B with the film, the megastar was apprehensive and was convinced only when the director enacted few scenes from the movie.
“Honestly, I never thought Mr Bachchan or Deepika would ever do a film like ‘Piku’. The first time I gave him the script, Mr Bachchan was in London. I met him when he came back and I could see a lot of notes he had made on the script. I saw apprehension on his part.
“Also, because I think our film ‘Shoebite’ never got released. So, he was confused that now I wanted to do a film about constipation. I enacted the first three scenes in front of him and he was convinced, he said okay,” Shoojit said in an interview on the sidelines of NFDC Film Bazaar.
The director, who is also known for films like “Yahaan”, “Vicky Donor” and “Madras Café”, said he completely understood the reluctance of both his lead stars as “Piku” was not “Bollywood kind of” movie.
“I think actors do need some hand holding to know what they are doing. ‘Piku’ is not at all a film in the Bollywood kind of way. It took me few hours to convince Deepika but she agreed after I narrated her a scene from the film.”
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Shoojit is deeply influenced by Satyajit Ray’s works and asks his actors and writers to watch the legendary filmmaker’s works before embarking on his films.
The director even made Deepika watch Ray’s work to understand “Piku” as the film has heavily drawn for Ray in terms of simple-storytelling, music and real characterisation.
“In all my films I try and take influences from Ray’s films and try and adopt them. It is mandatory for my actors, writers to watch Ray’s films. I made sure Deepika saw one of his films. I feel for a film student, watching Ray is a basic learning.”
The director has tasted success with all his four films but the director says it is still a struggle for him to make a movie on his own terms.
“The struggle is on. It is difficult to make movies on our own terms and also to make a film and convince somebody to have faith in it. It is an internal struggle. It is easier to make a film but difficult to make it on your own terms.
“In that sense ‘Madras Cafe’ was a very satisfying experience. It is a precious film. It was hard core political; there was nothing peripheral about it.”