BADRINATH director: Would like to cast all the Khans
Director Shashank Khaitan, who started his career with HUMPTY SHARMA KI DULHANIA in 2014, is back with his second film BADRINATH KI DULHANIA with the same sizzling and ever bubbly duo Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan.
In conversation with Shashank as he spills beans about his love for films which is set in north belt, he also speaks about working with Varun, Alia and Karan Johar and why is he not interested in Box Office numbers.
Explain the characters of Varun and Alia in the movie BADRINATH?
The character of BADRI is a heartland small city guy, not like Varun who is from Juhu. As I belong to a small city it helped me overpower him in a way. I had to bring real examples in front of him to make him believe that characters like Badri do exist. Every time we would have these discussions, it would bring them (Varun and Alia) to reality, which helped in them coming in terms with the character. In the realm of making a Hindi commercial film, I wanted my character to be real.
Humpty… was also from the north and so is Badri.., do you have an inclination towards that region?
I have spent more time in this region so I feel I have a better understanding of the character. Also I feel this region is very rich in terms of phonetic. The locations like, Jhansi, Kota and Singapore are not chosen just for the heck of it and they play an important part in the story. They add something to the characters by time. The kind of word play they have is very interesting. If I want to write something intense and funny.
How you evolved as a director from your previous film?
I hope I evolve as a human every day. I have consciously put in a lot more effort in this one. The first film was a lot of euphoria. I realized I needed to go back to the learning stage. I saw Humpty a couple of times and realized that I needed to improve. In terms of story, I was hoping to make a meaningful story. I hope people connect to that thought.
'There always is a temptation to bring Varun and Alia on board'
Varun are Alia is a hit pair, was there any pressure for them to make look good in the movie?
I wrote the film without keeping any actors in mind. Of course there always is a temptation to bring Varun and Alia on board. But I try and be as honest with what I write. I feel chemistry works if it’s inherently well written in the film.
You have recreated ‘Tamma Tamma Again’, how was the experience?
It was brilliant, and a dream come true. It was exciting the day the song was on the board. Everything has been spoken about in great light and I am fortunate about it. The song comes in a very good situation; it goes with the narration of the story. It was not just a song that we used for promotional purposes. Both Alia and Varun are look like their characters Badri and Vaidehi and that’s what makes the song special for me.
What was the idea behind recreating these iconic songs?
The idea here was to bring this song to a generation who has never heard these songs. We all have grown up dancing to this epic songs but I know young people who are in their late teens who have not heard about these songs or movies at all. The West has been doing it all the time, so I don’t feel there is no harm in recreating these songs. At least it is reaching to a new generation. It revives some of the classics.
BADRINATH KI DULHANIA MOVIE STILLS
What do you have to say about Box Office numbers?
I try to keep myself as away as I can from these box office collections. Else the only agenda in my scripts will be to make it more glamorous and add the usual. Luckily my producers and actors know about it and we don’t discuss numbers. Yes, I definitely pray and work that my producers make profit.
What was the involvement of Karan Johar in the making of the movie, as he is director himself?
There were days, when I would call him and ask him if he is still producing the film. There have been 20-25 days when he would not call and simply tell me that he got the report by the production team so he didn’t want to disturb me. Because he is also a director, he doesn’t like to put pressure on other people about things he doesn’t like being done on himself. He is not someone who is intrusive. He would watch the film during the editing and gives his inputs. He also tells me that it’s my story, the victory is mine and so is the failure.
What is your biggest take away from BADRINATH KI DULHANIA?
My biggest take away was when I narrated the film to Karan, hoping in mind that he gets my message that I am trying to convey through my films, and he immediately got what I was trying to say and asked me to put it on board right away.
What is that one quality about Varun and Alia which you like?
Both of them have the same quality that they are passionate about their work. They are driven to the level of madness to make their work better and better every day. Not only for the movie but also while promoting. Those guys have not slept and yet they don’t complain. Varun will literally call and tell me that he has shot for this ad and I need to see it and I ask him what is he not passionate about.
As a director who would you want to cast?
I would like to cast all the Khans, the biggest of the actors but before that I need to have a script in place. I can’t say, ‘I want to cast Aamir Khan and then when he asks me okay let’s read the script’, then I will be in false position. So I will write something and then only I shall finalize the cast.