Superstar Salman Khan has been the godfather & mentor to many in this industry and there are many who can never say no to him and HERO director, Nikhil Advani is one of those people. For him, Salman Khan is his ‘incase-of-emergency-please-contact-person'.
When we caught up with the director for an interview, he told us how passionate & excited Salman was for HERO and how he hasn't compromised on anything for this debut film of Sooraj Pancholi & Athiya Shetty and wanted this to be a launch exactly like his. He also shared how just one phone call form Salman was enough for him to direct HERO.
When asked how did he decide to do a remake, he said, “Salman Khan makes a phone call and it seals your decisions. I can never say no to Salman. If anybody else would have called me up, I would have said no. I think that for Salman Khan to pick up the phone and call me and say that I'd like you to do this, is very big of him. He didn't need to do this; he could have sent a message with anybody. For me he is my ‘incase-of-emergency-please-contact-person' and he knows that.”
But Nikhil wasn't the first person Salman called. Nikhil said, “But I guess I was the fourth phone call; first he called Subhash Ghai, then Sooraj Pancholi and Suniel Shetty. He had been speaking to Sooraj for quite some time before he called me and he called Suniel and had spoken to him about Athiya. That's what seals the deal. I can't say no to him.”
Further he told us, “He is making the film because of Sooraj & Athiya. It's a reverse thing, he wanted to make a film for them and decided that the best film to make for them would be HERO.”
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Nikhil then told us that Salman isn't doing this for money. “I keep on saying this that I don't think Salman is making a film called HERO with Sooraj & Athiya directed by Nikhil Advani because he is going to break the bank. This is the guy who has done BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN. For him, the first day collection of BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN is more than the budget of HERO. He isn't doing it for money; he's doing it for some other reason,” he said.
Salman was the generous producer who told Nikhil that there was no budget and asked Nikhil to launch the newcomers just like how he was. “I was flummoxed in the beginning as to why would he do so much. The only thing he kept on telling was, ‘Launch them the way I was launched. Give them the platform I was given. Make it bigger, why are you thinking so small?' I kept saying that they're newcomers, there is and should be a budget. He told me, ‘No, there should not be. Just go ahead and do what you want.' For me, I have just delivered the film that he wanted,” shared Nikhil.
Further sharing how passionate is Salman for HERO, he said, “Salman's team was afraid that during the BAJRANGI promotions, he would turn around and say don't talk to me about BAJRANGI, talk to me about HERO. In 30 years, I don't think he has been more charged and more passionate about anything than HERO. It's something very special.”
HERO, which released yesterday, has opened to mixed reviews. We hope Salman is happy with the way things are going around for the film and the debutants are welcomed with open arms in the industry & loved by the audience just as much as their mentor is. After all, that is what Salman wanted.
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