His brilliant performances manage to raise a laugh almost always but Vijay Raaz opts for a complete role-reversal as he goes behind the camera to probe questions of war and peace through his Partition-themed drama ‘Kya Dilli Kya Lahore’.
Raaz,best known for his memorable roles in Mira Nair’s ‘Monsoon Wedding’,’Raghu Romeo’ and ‘Delhi Belly’,says it was a great story to mark his directorial debut.
“It is a very emotional film for me because I don’t come from the regular set-up. I just wanted to narrate the story my way. I did not lose sleep on making it commercially viable by putting in an item song. It is a very innocent story,” Raaz said in an interview.
The film has some brilliant songs by poet-lyricist Gulzar,who also turns narrator for the 1948-set drama.
“Gulzar saab liked the film very much. He knows that period very well and has written a lot about it. He thought may be the film needed him. It has become more special with his involvement. He is a narrator and has written songs also,” says Raaz.
Produced by Karan Arora,’Kya Dilli Kya Lahore’ may hit theatres by October or November. Apart from Raaz,the film’s cast include ‘Oye Lucky Lucky Oye’ actor Manu Rishi,Raj Zutshi and Vishwajeet Pradhan. Raaz says he was attracted to the story’s theme about the bond between an Indian and a Pakistani soldier stationed at the Indo-Pak border.
“The film comes with the message that humanity is bigger than any religion or any country and that’s what we have tried to convey through the film,” Raaz says.
Asked how he managed the duel role of a director and actor,Raaz said,”It was great fun actually. The story got me interested immediately. I knew what I wanted to say through camera. I picked up points while working as an actor so it was not all that difficult. I could translate my vision into the story so it gave me a great sense of joy,which every artist covets.”
Raaz,who was born and raised in Delhi,says he never dreamt of becoming an actor while growing up.
“I did not have big dreams and never bothered about what I will become when I grow up. I used to dream about winning most marbles in a game. But when I started acting in theatre,I realised that it was something that I enjoyed the most,” he says.
“I take up only those roles that are fun to do. I don’t over burden myself with too many films. This is why I am still in love with my job.”
The actor says he will go behind the camera again if anything interesting comes his way.