Vikram Phadnis, an ace fashion designer, has been ruling in Bollywood for 25 years. He has designed many A-list actors. After successful 25 years in designing, he forayed into direction with Marathi film HRUDAYANTAR which stars two iconic Marathi actors as well as Bollywood top names like Hrithik Roshan, Farah Khan, Maniesh Paul and Shaimak Davar playing themselves in the film.
In an exclusive interview he spoke about his film HRUDAYANTAR, why he considers Salman Khan his godfather and what lead him to direction from designing!
Excerpts from the interview:
Tell us about your journey of 25 years in Bollywood?
It has been a roller coaster ride, beautiful and glorious 25 years in fashion and one year in direction. I met some great people all these years. I am enjoying and learning every day,
From ace designer to debut director how did it happen?
Designing happened by luck, it wasn’t planned at all. Salman Khan gave me the required break and that I deserved. Today whatever I am is because of him! He is the man why Vikram Phadnis brand exists. I first wrote a Hindi film which had Bipasha Basu, but due to unforeseen circumstances the film didn’t take off, then I wrote a Marathi film HRUDAYANTAR which is a beautiful film about relationships. I am glad I have some biggest Marathi actors on board.
The film also has Hrithik Roshan, Farah Khan and Shaimak Dawar’s cameo. It was easy to have them since they are your buddies?
Yes, and they are not just because of showbiz they are playing their part. Just because I am part of the industry and I know people, they will be ready to do a film, it doesn’t work that way. Friendships and professionalism are two different things.
Why isn’t Salman Khan seen promoting the film, considering you share a great rapport with him?
He was busy with his film TUBELIGHT and TIGER ZINDA HAI. He was away for 45 days during the promotions when I needed him. I really missed him.
Wasn’t direction a tough task, considering you hail from fashion indutsry?
I had penned HRUDAYANTAR story long back, as it’s a coming-of-age story, about relationships and it’s also the journey of the family who battle against all odds. You have to believe in yourself and once you pen down the story everything else can be taken care off. I had a great technical team on set and AD team. The costume has been designed by Vikram Phadnis team.
'Fashion designing happened to me by luck'
Will you continue with direction?
I haven’t decided my next film. I am open to do any film. I can write a romantic film, drama film but action and horror isn’t my forte.
Who are you closest to in the industry?
Salman is one of the most loyal people I know in the industry. He has been there in my life through my thick and thin, and whatever I am today is because of him.
According to you, who is the most stylish actor in B-town?
I like Priyanka Chopra, Saif Ali Khan, Ranveer Singh. They carry themselves really well.
What is the difference between being stylish and fashionable?
To each its own. Being stylish is when you can carry the clothes that you wear with ease and panache, while fashion is something which is trending and you can carry it with ease.
Name the Bollywood directors that you admire?
Karan Johar, Mahesh Bhatt, Sanjay Leela Bhansali. They have an art of story-telling.
There are so many Marathi films that have done well in recent past. Films like SAIRAT have also set a benchmark? Are you also looking forward to create some mark?
It’s unfair to set one benchmark. SAIRAT came with its own destiny. It’s good when different cinema does well. It gives rise to more filmmakers to make film on various subjects. Box office numbers does matter to me, it gives us the commercial success.
'Social media has taken over like a storm'
What is your take on social media?
Social media has taken over like a storm. Every actor flaunts a different look to each one to its own. I too use it for marketing and promotions of my films. I am not driven by it.
What qualities set you apart from other?
I am over sensitive, driven, and a loyal friend.
Which movie moved you?
TAARE ZAMEEN PAR was one movie, which moved me a lot. I sat down in the theaters till the end credits. It’s marvelous.
What does HRUDAYANTAR mean to you?
It’s a turning point in my life. For me it was 10 December when I started with the film, I don’t consider saying designing as at that time, I was too young and not wise to understand my profession as a fashion designer as I entered into fashion industry by default, I didn’t value it at that time.
What next after HRUDAYANTAR?
A holiday and then once I am back, I will be writing one more film, don’t know, Hindi or Marathi but something for sure.