For someone who has essentially been seen in the glossy world of Yash Raj Films (MUJHSE FRAAANDSHIP KAROGE, MERE DAD KI MARUTI), it was a sea change of sorts for Saqib Saleem when he found himself in a set up created by filmmaker Amole Gupte for HAWAA HAWAAI. Moreover, even from the characterization perspective, it was an altogether different challenge for young Saqib to portray the part of a coach.
"It was a big mental shift, honestly," says Saqib, "I have been playing this young, urban, happy-go-lucky guy in my films so far. However, the character that I am playing in HAWAA HAWAAI has a lot of depth and maturity to it. Moreover, it was also pretty much a basic requirement that I bond a lot with kids. That's because if they don't like you, it shows on screen. None of us could afford to have something like that happen to our film."
Saqib wanted to maintain a humane touch to the entire affair, due to which he refrained from watching any other film which had either skating or coaches as a central theme.
"When I read the script, I had no clue on how I would do the film," confesses Saqib. "People advised me to watch these movies which had coaches and all, but then I refused as I wanted to go with my own interpretation of the character. Since Amole sir has modeled this character on two coaches for a skating academy in Mumbai, he arranged for it that I met those guys. In fact I also shot videos of these guys and learnt about their body language, mannerisms and interaction with children. That was quite hopeful."
Hopefully it rubs upon the entire film, something which would be known once HAWAA HAWAAI, which is a Fox Star Studios and Amole Gupte Cinema Pvt. Ltd., hits the screens tomorrow.