Interview : Uday Chopra

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How did PYAAR IMPOSSIBLE come about? Did the idea come first or the story? What was the inspiration?
No the idea came first. I wanted to make this film much earlier. But at that point in time it was just one dimensional. This whole angle of beauty and the geek came in later. When I incorporated both of them together, about this guy who is in love with this unattainable girl, that’s when the film came up. The inspiration was to do something on my own. To try to attempt a film which comes from inside me and I can put my sensibilities in it.

How long did it take to write the script? And what all challenges you faced
The story as I said was already in my mind. The script took a little bit of time. I started writing in November of 2007. I had the first draft ready in 2008. The film that we have shot now is in its 9th draft so the process continued for a long time. The challenge for me was that I had never written a script before this. I never thought that I would write one. In fact when I had this idea, I approached Jugal,

‘I was wary of Priyanka…’

who was busy with ROADSIDE ROMEO at that time. I asked him if we both could write it together, but that time he was really tied up with the post-production of RR, so I actually started writing it on my own.

Who did you have your script discussions with?
They mainly happened with my brother (Aditya Chopra), my father (Yash Chopra), my mother (Pamela Chopra) and Karan (Johar). Everybody gave their opinion and that’s where the editing started, even at the scripting stage.

Tell us something about the story of the film.
The story of the film is about this guy who calls himself a geek, Abhay Sharma. For those who don’t know what a geek is, he is more of an introvert, he doesn’t have a social life and he is more into himself. He is socially inept. He doesn’t mingle with people, beyond his comfort zone, especially with girls. But he is very intelligent. There are various kinds of geeks; in this case Abhay is a techno-geek. So this geek falls in love with a girl and just likes her from afar, doesn’t know how to talk to her. It so happens that one day in life, few years later, he has to face her and they get to know each other. That is where the story lies. The title, PYAAR IMPOSSIBLE, suggests what the story is. That it’s the love which is just not possible between these two characters.


Why a geek?
A geek lends a dramatic angle to the story, because it’s so diametrically opposite. Also I think geeks are characters who are not fully explored in Indian cinema. I consider myself a geek. I think it’s a different character – how he behaves; he is shy, but at the same time he is intelligent. He is not a fool! He has just not been able to say his mind. I thought it would lend itself very well to the film.

What kind of geek are you?
I am also a techno-geek. Just like Abhay, I was also the same way in school. I also had a crush on this girl in school and I could not go and tell her that. I used to write poems. I used to collect her empty chips packet. So I think the character does emerge to some extent from the past experience. I still think I am like that.

How did you zero down on Jugal as the director?
Well Jugal came in much earlier. He is a friend of mine. At the time he was making ROADSIDE ROMEO, I told him I am writing this film and asked him if he would like to write it with me. Then I asked him if he would like to direct it for me. Jugal and I saw eye to eye on this as always. The kind of film it is, the kind of sensibility it has, we were very clued into that. For a writer, if you are giving your script to somebody and if he doesn’t see it the way as you see it, it can turn out to be something else. But Jugal and I were on the same page. I realized that he would be the right choice as a Director for the film.


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So many roles, how difficult is it being a Writer, Producer and Actor?
You are right. I am doing a lot of things in the film. I have written it, I am producing it and I am acting in it. Before I got into it I was thinking – ‘I don’t know how will I do it!’ But it’s just a gradual process. Once I finished writing, I got into the production aspect of it and on the set I was an actor. Everything just flowed. I had a great team, the Assistant Director’s, the production team. We were so happy on and off the sets and no one had any personality issues with anyone. Everyone got along with each other. So that really helped.

Were you always present on the set?
Ya I would always be there on the set. I have been there since shooting started, from day one. As a Producer, I have been physically and mentally involved because it’s my baby, it’s my first film. I feel really strongly for the film. I am putting so much of myself in it.

How did the film happen?
I think the moment Priyanka (Chopra) came on board was the time we realized that the film was on and its going to be made. Because after the script was made, I wanted a big star for the film, Priyanka being my first choice. Since its a star centric project, I would probably have not done the film had no star agreed to it. So when she came on board, we started the whole project, like music, other character actors.

Why Priyanka?

‘Adi (Aditya Chopra) hated my draft for PYAAR IMPOSSIBLE’

When I started writing I did not have anyone specific in mind. But once I finished, I felt I needed a big star for this film. Not just in terms of looks but in terms of audience perception as well. I wanted people to feel that this guy will never be able to get that girl and I wanted somebody to have that high star status. Priyanka is also a great actress and I wanted one for the film. Also the character Alisha, there is a zing to her and that suits Priyanka totally. She took her time but then she said yes. And Jugal and I keep saying this to each other – ‘dude, we are lucked out!’

Tell us something about your character in the film – that of a geek called Abhay Sharma.
Abhay is a geek and we see him in two phases of life. One is when he is in college when I would call him a super geek. As you can see in the posters, he wears specs, braces, has funny hair and funny clothes. He has friends who are also geeks, he is not able to talk to girls, he is intelligent but does not have the courage to show it. And the later part is when he is a little mature and no longer thinks about the girl because he knows that he is not going to get that girl, so he tells himself to close that chapter of his life completely.


What preparations you did for the role?
Preparation!! Well for one I wrote the film, so the character was in my head and second I believe that I am a geek so I had to just pull that out of me. For the mannerisms and the body language, I started observing people who work around me. Like Shimit Amin, the Director. I observed him – the way he stands, the way he carries himself – he has a very geeky way of doing things. The specs that I wear in the film are exactly like Shimit’s specs. I also studied classic geeks like Woody Alan, Bill gates and people who have made it in technology. We got characteristic uniformity in Abhay’s appearance like clothes and all.

How was it working with Priyanka?
I don’t know where to start. I was wary of her because she is a very big star. But right from the first shot I did with her I was super excited because she just didn’t behave like a star; she was just like Jugal and me. We used to discuss everything. For the first time I felt that the actor was not an actor, she was part of the team. We used to write the scenes together. For not one moment did she say that ‘I cannot shoot at this time or that time’. We were shooting for 12 – 13hours sometimes. But never did she complain. She had all the energy in the world. Sometimes I used to feel exhausted but she used to go on and on and I used to realize, if she is doing so much , I better match upto her! It was just fantastic.


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