As Marjaavaan releases today, there is excitement and nervousness at Camp Emmay, Producer Madhu Bhojwani talks about what goes in selecting a script, actors and their upcoming line-ups.
Anita Britto: Congratulations, Emmay Entertainment completed eight years. How does it feel, to reach this far? What are your thoughts on it?
Madhu Bhojwani: Thank you! Well, we are very happy. But to be honest, I don't think either of us whether it's Nihkil, Monisha or myself, you know, wake up every day or every other day and says that, oh my god, we've done so much. We've come so far. We are so busy, working and trying to put projects together and get our directors to work and you know, coming back every day, thinking and believing it's a new day, and there's so much more to achieve. And I don't think we are even conscious of the fact that we've hit this milestone. But we're very happy that you know, the industry has given us such a lovely platform and the audience has appreciated all the work that we're putting out there.
AB: Do you still have that pressure with every film and the other challenges that come with it?
MB: Of course we do. And I don't think it's different for any other producer, because I'm sure if you speak to producers who are much more senior than us and who've been in the industry for as long as they have, for every producer, I think, a film when it comes out, there is you know, there are butterflies in your stomach. Because nobody knows what the outcome is going to be. And you always hope for the best you put in your best work and not compromise in, you know, in the input journey. And then you hope that you know the outcome is favorable for all.
AB: Speaking about Marjaavaan, how did the script come to you or you were the one who approached Milap Zaveri?
MB: So Milap has been working on the script for right over three to four years, and it's something that I think was very close to his heart. And he brought the script to us. Then I think Monisha loved it. that's that's where it started so the rest is history be me. Nikhil and I heard the script, and we loved it. Then we brought him (Milap) on board as a writer, and we got the screenplay and the script from him. Over a period of time, as the script was developed, we were toying with the idea of certain, you know, names, who's going to direct it and what should we do? But post-Satymev Jayte, the most logical thing was to have Milap direct the film because the script and the idea was close to his heart. It had action, it has a very strong love story and a lot of it, we felt he would be the best guy to deliver on-screen.
AB: Is it still easy to convince actors to do such a larger than life characters on screen which so much of dialogues and Maara Mari?
MB: Well, I think, you know, to convince an actor to do any film, I don't think whether it's big or small, the script should be compelling enough. And, I think that you know, we are lucky that Marjaavaan as a script, whoever has heard it, has loved it at the first instance, and so when the idea of casting Siddharth or Rietish, Milap was very, very clear that Rietesh would play the role of the antagonist, and I think we were all on board with that idea. We love the idea. And Siddharth coming on board was just, you know like Milap puts it serendipity and, you know, being the successful pair of Ek Villain, bringing them together and seeing them once again on the screen became a very exciting proposition. So, when it comes to convincing actors, I think that at the end of the day, if you have a strong script and a good team that backs it, then I think it gives actors that much more confidence to sign up.
AB: So how much is your involvement in casting an actor or an actress?
MB: I think casting is, you know, there's a lot of teamwork. Of course, the director does play a big role because it's very important for him to have that comfort or that he will be able to extract the necessary performance. I think the producers keep in mind, the commerce of it, whether, you know, it's all going to fit into place. And based on that, you know, there is a joint decision that gets taken. So I think that you know, you can't say that it's any one person who makes that decision. I think everybody needs to come on to the same page when bringing an actor on board.
AB: What about the scripts? How are the scripts decided? Are there any creative differences?
MB: I think creative differences are bound to exist because everybody has an opinion. However, at Emmay the three of us are quite clear in one thing, which is, that when we greenlight scripts or we develop concepts, all three of us must necessarily be excited by the idea. Because if we're not, then we know that at some point further down the line, there will probably be a difference of opinion. Of course, sometimes we still go ahead and develop ideas because, you know, it may end up becoming something better than perhaps it wasn't at the idea stage. But largely when we take films to the floors, and you know, green light them for production, we're very clear that we need to all be concurrent in, confirming that, yes, this is a film that we want to make.
AB: Also you just had an announcement last evening about Bell Bottom, how did that come into the picture?
MB: We are really excited about it and it's being directed by Ranjeet Tiwari, who directed Lucknow Central for us and that's released back in 2017. Ranjeet was quite clear that you know, the next film that he makes is an idea or concept that, you know, he should have a complete conviction. He wanted to take his time with picking the right idea. And about a year ago is when he brought this subject to us and we loved it and we said, okay, we must develop this. So we brought writers on board and developed it into a full-fledged script, screenplay with dialogue, etc. Then, of course, the next logical step was to see you know, who can we take this too and we already have an established relationship with Akshay. We've delivered a successful film like Airlift and Nikhil and Akshay have worked together, even before Emmay Entertainment was set up. So there is a very high level of mutual respect and trust. So when we took the script to Akshay, he loved it, that was very, very exciting for us. We were really, thrilled about it. Then, of course, Vashu Bhagnani came on board and then all the pieces fell into place and led to the announcement.
AB: There is also Indu Ki Jawani, let's speak on that?
MB: So Indoo Ki Jawani is a lovely and very, very, I'd say, comedic story. It's about this girl from a small town and we've spoken a lot about the idea and it's in the public domain. The title role is being played by Kiara. And in fact, we are our unit is currently in Lucknow shooting for this film, and we're hoping to wrap over the next couple of days. So it's a very, very interesting subject. It's very close to our hearts. And we're hoping to have it ready soon and see release for that film in the early part of next year.
AB: So, what else do you have in the pipeline?
MB: We've got a film starting this month, which will star Arjun Kapoor and Rakul Preet it's been produced by Bhushan Kumar of T-series, John Abraham, his company, and Emmay Entertainment. So it's a very, exciting subject. Again, it's a family-oriented, very heartwarming story. It's a subject that all of us, you know, loved, at the word go, the script is very endearing. The film is going to be directed by Kaashvi Nair, he has assisted Nikhil over the past many years, it's going to be her debut. So when the film was assembled and ready, we were really, really excited about it. And then I mean, in the sense that the producers came on board, the script was ready, then we went through the motions of casting. I think we're very happy with, the cast that we've got on board. It's a, very, endearing subject. Of course, I won't talk about this more at this stage, because of a very unique concept. And so that's going on the floors this month, and again, will release next year. Next year, we have Satyameva Jayate 2, which has been announced and will again start shooting early next year. We're developing several other scripts, which we hope to have ready, you know, as they as and when they're ready. We hope to get the best cast we can.
AB: Okay, well, on that note, thank you so much, and all the very best to all your future projects.
MB: Thank you was lovely to talk to you.