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  1. #1
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    Mar 2008

    Default I'm glad I cast Vidya Balan and not Aishwarya Rai: Priyadarshan

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    I'm glad I cast Vidya Balan and not Aishwarya Rai: Priyadarshan
    Priyadarshan tells us that he prefers to cast the same set of actors in every film of his because he is of the opinion that when butter is at home, he need not go out to search for ghee.

    What is Billu about?
    Basically Billu is a tribute to friendship. It is the story of a simple ordinary hair stylist who leads an extra ordinary life. It is about Bilas Rao Pardesi (Irrfan Khan) who is living in his village with his wife Bindiya (Lara Dutta) and two kids.

    Life was bitter sweet. We can say more sweet than bitter. Till one day a super star (Shah Rukh Khan) comes into their lives and everything changes.

    Life changes, people change, friends change, the village changes but one man does not-Billu. It is the story of true friendship between Lord Krishna, the King of Dwarka and Sudama, a poor hermit. The moral of the story is so strong that it inculcates humbleness and greatness and conveys the true meaning of friendship.

    Isn't Billu a remake of the Malayalam hit Katha Parayumbol?
    It is not a 100 % remake of Katha Parayumbol but a take off in my own way. The character of the hair stylist played by Sreenivasan in Malayalam, Jagapathi Babu in Telugu and Pasupathi in Tamil, is being essayed by Irrfan Khan in Hindi.

    What did you do to do justice to Shah Rukh's character as the super star?
    A lot of changes in the screenplay were made to suit the larger than life image of Shah Rukh Khan, though he does not play himself,without in any way diluting the strength of the original script and as a result we have him doing as many as three item numbers with actresses like Kareena Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra.

    Is it different from the usual Priyadarshan films?
    The film is full of my comic touches, complete with the much loved village bumpkin characters, played by Asrani, Om Puri and Rajpal Yadav. But above all, it rekindles the Krishna - Sudama timeless friendship.

    Does criticism about you being the Master of Remakes bother you?
    I am not bothered when the critics dub me as the Remake Man, because the Oscar last year went to the remake version of a Hong Kong film called The Departed.

    My Kabhi Na Kabhi was not a remake of any Malayalam hit but an original subject written by Javed Akhtar. Do you know that all David Dhawan films have been rehashed from Bhagyaraj's hit films? I think most remakes of South Indian hits fail only because they try to make it as it is.

    I make it a point not to let any of my film in Hindi look like a Tamil or Malayalam film from any angle.

    What is of primary importance when you make a film?
    As far as a director is concerned, the approach to a film is more important and also doing justice to the film. All other things are secondary.

    Which are your forthcoming projects?
    I have five mega projects lined up. I am finalising a script for a film which may star Amitabh Bachchan and Akshaye Khanna. The story is about bank robbery. I'm directing it for Percept Pictures.

    I am also making a horror film called Grrr! for them. I am also making the Hindi remake of Majeed Majidi's classic The Children of Heaven with Darsheel Safary, and Rituparna Dasgupta.

    Wasn't your Bhool Bhulaiya a rehash of the Tamil hit Chandramukhi starring Rajnikant ?
    Chandramukhi was a commercial massacre of the original Malayalam film Mani Chitra Thazhu starring Mohanlal and Shobhana which was made way back in 1981.

    I was pissed off when the media wrote that I was remaking a trash like Chandramukhi when the original version is even today considered classic. I had not directed the film but assisted Fazil who had directed it.

    The concept also was his but they killed his concept and made it into a Rajnikant style film because they wanted to cater to the masses. I made Bhool Bhulaiya by sticking to the original concept of Fazil.

    In what way was Bhool Bhulaiya different from the original Malayalam hit?
    Though I followed the original, I made sure that the subject suited the North audience and did not reek of nativity in any way. I had Banaras as the backdrop instead of Kerala. Chandramukhi was more of an action film.

    In the original version, they showed the protagonist as a split personality. However, since I am a psychology student, I took the liberty to base the story on identity syndrome.

    Didn't you plan to cast Aishwarya Rai in place of Vidya Balan when you set out to remake Manichitra Thazhu as Bhool Bhulaiya?
    To make Vidya Balan do Shobana's role was a big challenge for me as a director. To Vidya's credit, I should say that she worked very hard on her role, though there is a lot of difference between a genuine dancer and a filmy dancer.

    The role which Vidya did in Bhool Bhulaiya was tailor made for her. I realized that it would have been a grave mistake on my part if I had taken on Aishwarya Rai, as I had planned earlier instead of Vidya.

    Why do you cast the same set of actors in your films again and again?
    When the butter is at home, why should I search for ghee? I like to use complete actors like Paresh Rawal, Rajpal Yadav and Manoj Joshi who can do all kinds of roles. I am of the opinion that known devils are better than unknown angels.

    You have no qualms to admit that you like to play to the gallery as a film maker?
    My Dhol was a time pass film, which was rehashed from three Malayalam films-- Manamathai, Mazhai Peyyunnu Madhalam Kottunnu and Chandralekha. So what if it did not click like some of my earlier films?

    I could not sit through the Hindi remake of my hit Malayalam film Chandralekha because Raj Kanwar who directed it mauled my original version very badly.

    Can you tell me one single serious film which has worked in Hindi in the last two years at the box office? I have no qualms to admit that I play to the gallery because today the majority of the audiences are youngsters who have problems at their homes and want to pass time when they come to the cinema houses.

  2. #2
    Kal Ho Na Ho
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    India & Cambodia


    Thank you very much



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