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09-08-2011, 06:34 PM #1
I wanted to direct Bodyguard: Atul AgnihotriProducer Atul Agnihotri is riding high post Bodyguard's release and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t. Bodyguard, made at a budget of 60 crores, has made history in Indian cinema by earning 22 crores on the first day of its release. In just one week of the release, the movie has made a business of more than 110 crores and still counting.
Producer of Bodyguard Atul Agnihotri
Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor had two major flops (Kyon Ki and Main Aurr Mrs Khanna) as a pair in the past, yet you decided to cast Kareena in the film.
She was apt for the role. We had a choice between three - four actresses but everything worked out well with Kareena. Viewers look for entertainment. If we make an enjoyable film, they will watch it. I feel I have been lucky for the third time in a row. (Smiles).
Were you not eager to direct Bodyguard?
I initially wanted to direct the film as I really liked the subject. But, the director, Siddique, had written and directed the Malayalam and Tamil versions and I felt, it was important to have him on board as he has been working on this subject for the last five years.
Were you under a lot of pressure to deliver a hit?
Yes, it was a responsible role because Salman Khan was involved with the film. Salman has given back- to- back hits and has set an altogether different level for his films which needed to be met.
The critics have slammed the movie. Please comment.
Critics are there to criticise movies. Our box office collections clearly prove the critics wrong. No film in the history of Indian cinema has done such business. If the critics were even one percent right about the negative reviews, then it would have impacted somewhere. There is a lot of money riding on Salman and it’s very important to for his movie to be a hit at the box-office. A viewer’s verdict is more significant than an individual sitting in a coffee shop writing a review.
How are you taking Salman’s absence?
We have been worried for him. We are waiting for him to celebrate the success of the film. I update him daily and he’s interested to know the response of his film. In fact, this will be Salman’s biggest hit overseas so far.
Reportedly, Pritam was the original music composer. How did Himesh Reshamiya come on board?
Pritam was pressed for time and we were working towards a committed release date. Himesh was sporting enough and put his best foot forward. All the developments happened gracefully and there was no confusion about it. Himesh’s Teri Meri Kahani is a hit sound track.
Do you feel the need to prove yourself as a director?
I don’t feel the need to prove myself to anybody. I believe that success is very important to survive in this industry. Very few people today are passionate about their work, the rest just view it as a business.
Do things become easy with the Khan family on your side?
Of course things become easy but that’s not all that is required to get Salman on board. He first needs to like the script. I can’t just walk up to him and tell him to do a film for me. Today, he’s doing one film at a time and is very focused at his work. He is in the best phase of his career and this adds pressure on him to deliver even better with each passing hit.