First and foremost, what exactly is TUM MILE's story? I cannot reveal much about the story line of the movie except for the fact that it is a love story with a backdrop of infamous 26th July 2005 Mumbai floods. It's a story of two star crossed ex-lovers who are re-united after a hiatus of 6 years under the most chaotic circumstances. As the story unfolds they find out new things about each other and themselves due to the extreme conditions there in.
After JANNAT, this is your second film with Director Kunal Deshmukh, how was that experience? Many films have been made in order to re-create past instances but Kunal Deshmukh has gone further than any other. The sets of the film were made to recreate the actual state of some parts of Mumbai. Kunal has left no stone unturned to depict the most real picture of what happened on 26th July 2005. Everything from the sets to the chaos in the city has been mirrored almost identically by him. As hard as the conditions were to work, it was a thrilling experience to watch Kunal paint such a large canvas. I am certain that the audience will be absolutely blown away with this film.
You had to face a lot of adverse conditions while shooting for this film. Can you tell us a little about that? The filming of TUM MILE was quite an adventure. I injured myself twice during this film's shoot. First I injured my eye and then fractured my finger as well. I
TUM MILE is worth all the pain.'
needed time for it to heal fast because we were shooting under several feet of water. We were re-living the torrential rains of 26 July 2005 for almost a month and sometimes when I used to go back home I would actually feel like I just came from an actual flood.
There has been a lot of talk about the sets of the film. What was so special about them? Since no studio could give us a floor large enough to submerge cars in rain water we hired this disused scrap-metal factory in Mulund which has been filled up with water. It started with ankle-deep water. By the end of the shoot the water had gone up to the waist and stomach. Soha is much shorter so we just had to see her head popping out of the water during most of the scenes... There were two recycling plants installed but even they couldn't help much. And on top of that we had cars underwater which we bumped into regularly. Kunal should be happy he's got two co-operative actors. We don't demand mineral water instead of rain water to sink into. (Laughs)
How is Soha Ali Khan as a co-star? It was indeed a pleasure working with her. She is a very fine and diligent actress and doesn't have any starry airs inspite of being from such a royal (literally) background. We shared a lot of light moments on the sets and I will always cherish the time spent with her. Her acting talents will be in full display in this movie unlike any before it.
Is it true that you had your birthday during the filming of the movie and spent it emerged in knee-deep dirty water? Oh yes, unfortunately it's true. The thing was that Soha and I had been literally shooting 16-18 hours a day and I couldn't even attend the birthday calls. When I went back home I saw more bouquets than I had ever seen in my life. Quite a change from how it used to be when I had debacles. The shooting went way beyond what we expected. So by the time I reached home we couldn't really go out and my wife and I just had a quiet dinner.
What are your future plans? My next is going to be Ekta Kapoor's ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAI based on the rise of organized crime in Mumbai. Apart from that, I have a few others in my kitty but wouldn't want anything to steal TUM MILE's thunder. (Laughs)
After all the hardships and strife, what do you see for-see as the audiences reaction to the film? The promo of the film is already out and I have received a great feedback from not only my fans but also the Industry. If that is a sign of the appeal of the film then I am sure the film will reach all the heights of success. I really wish all our hard work pays off and the film gets the response it truly deserves. As far as I am concerned, I have put in all my efforts into making the film has genuine and real as possible. Rest only time will tell. (Smiles)