He doesn’t blow his own trumpet nor does he have a social life. And he also has an unwavering conviction in himself. Not surprisingly, he’s been churning out hits at regular intervals – earlier as writer and now as writer-director. This week, one of Tinsel Town’s most successful and most sought-after filmmakers, had another release, the multi-starrer No Problem.
Here’s the man of the moment, Anees Bazmee, in conversation with Shruti Gattani, discussing his forthcoming movies and lots more
You are the only director making three movies simultaneously.
I make only one film at a time. Thank You was delayed and so it clashed with the shooting of Ready. As for Ready, we had already done all the bookings and the dates were fixed. Hence, we couldn’t change them. And it’s not three. At present, I am working on only two films. No Problem released yesterday.
Since you are shooting multiple movies, when do you find the time to write them?
I had already written Thank You. Moreover, nothing is set in stone and we keep making revisions when we shoot. If I do not like a scene, I rewrite it a day before the shoot. The plot doesn’t change but scenes can. Ready is a remake of a South film. It already had a script. All I had to do was change it a little to suit the audience here.
It is said that you have 15 writers working for you and that they work in groups, each one writing a different story.
Not true. Jitni filmein maine banayi uski scripts meri hai. I have written the screenplay as well as the dialogue. Writing is the most difficult part and I have two to three close friends who pen scripts for me. Since they are my friends, communicating ideas is easy. Also, I have the final say. I pay them for their work and their names are always mentioned in the credits. When a director is also a writer, it is very difficult as he already has a preconceived notion in mind.
Why are you limiting yourself to making comedies?
After Hulchul, I made Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha, a romantic film with Ajay (Devgn) in the lead. The film was a super-hit. After that, I made Deewangi, a suspense-thriller, in which Ajay played a negative role. The film did awesome business at the box office. Then I made It’s My Life, which was again a romantic film but was delayed. That’s why my comedy released earlier. After that, I just happened to make another comedy. So it is incorrect to say that I only make comedies.
I am comfortable with all genres. I have made all kind of films – from thriller to suspense, to romance and comedy. After Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha, producers wanted me to make another romantic movie but I didn’t want to. So I sat at home for a couple of years. Then, after Deewangi, they wanted me to make thrillers. Again, I sat at home for some time. Can you imagine what it was like doing nothing after delivering hits?
Now, after a few years, and with luck on my side, all my films have done extremely well. Today, my producers let me do as I please as they have confidence in me. They know I can make films of any genre.
Even after delivering three back-to-back hits, It’s My Life has still not released?
Boney Kapoor, who is the producer, and I decided to delay the film as previous films of Harman Baweja did not work. We want the audience to forget them and look at Harman in a new light because he is a good actor.
When you delayed Sandwich, it bombed. What fate do you think It’s My Life will meet?
Sandwich, ek toh delayed film thi and bahut purani bhi thi. Then it was released on TV directly, something I wasn’t aware of. Any other director would have asked the producers to delete his name from the credits. I let them keep my name because I had made the film after all and also because it would have helped the producers.
It was a beautiful film with a good story and today, it is the most watchable film on television. As for It’s My Life, the producer Boney Kapoor is a seasoned person in the industry and knows what to do. He will manage the film superbly. It will definitely be a hit. So what if it has Harman in it? The script is beautiful.
Do you think the audience will accept the new cast in the new sequel of Hera Pheri?
Well, yes, people may have some apprehensions in the beginning. But it’s all about the script, right? The script is fabulous. We wanted to cast the same actors in the new Hera Pheri too but there were some hurdles. But since the script was so good, we did not want to waste it. So we decided to go ahead with new names.
Ready: A hardcore commercial movie with songs, action and romance – a complete masala movie. The story is awesome and so is the cast.
Thank You: This one is a romantic comedy toplining Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Paresh Rawal, Celina Jaitly and Rimi Sen. It mirrors the romance of Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha and the comedy of No Entry.
Hera Pheri 4: A complete entertainer and masala film – a hardcore commercial movie. After Ready is complete, this film is likely to go on the floors before No Entry Main Entry.
No Entry Main Entry: Work on the script is still underway. The actors, Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor and Fardeen Khan from the previous film, will reprise their roles. Only this time, Salman will play a crucial part unlike last time, as the audience loved him in No Entry. Actresses are still being finalised.