It became a Herculean task for Kunal Kohli to shoot a song sequence with Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra for his tentatively titled Teri Meri Kahaani amidst unmanageable crowd in Aurangabad in Bihar. But he thanks his lead actress for maintaining her composure.
Approximately 40,000 curious, eager, aggressive tourists and bystanders showed up to ogle, jostle and heckle at the Aurangabad Fort. The larger nightmare for them was getting to the fort. The cars carrying Shahid, Priyanka and Kohli's unit had to halt a good two km away from the interior of the fort. There was no choice but to walk the rest of the way.
"We did have some difficulties. But it was all fine. The walk was tough. We had to go up to the foot of the fort on Tata Sumos and then there was no road, so we had no choice but to walk," said Kohli.
"I've to say Priyanka is a very gutsy girl. We were all concerned about her security specially. But she was calm. Inside the fort people just bought tickets and kept trooping in. Yeah, we did have problems keeping them out of camera range and on a couple of occasions there were aggressive fans who tried to muscle in their way to get Shahid and Priyanka's attention. I've to thank the local administration and my team for managing the shoot," he added.
The crowds were apparently uncontrollable and had to be warned off and threatened to back off.
"The Aurangabad Fort has at any given time as many as 12,000 visitors. Kunal Kohli couldn't get permission to restrict the area. So he had to shoot with Priyanka and Shahid with the fort open to the public. As news spread about the two stars shooting in Aurangabad, crowds swelled inside the fort to unmanageable numbers," said a source.
After a point during the shooting of the song, things began to get out of hand.
Onlookers would repeatedly get into camera range, and when they were told to back off, they became unruly and finally unmanageable.
But Kohli's troubles at Aurangabad are not over.
Apparently fans and gawkers who had collected at the fort have taken pictures of Shahid and Priyanka shooting the song together and posted the pictures on microblogging sites, thereby giving away the pair's carefully-guarded look.
"The song is set in 1910 and we had worked hard on Priyanka and Shahid's look. But the look is out on Twitter. How do you control fans from clicking pictures? You can't! You just have to bear with it," said Kohli.
"But I really don't think the crowds in Aurangabad were doing anything they shouldn't have. It was perfectly justifiable for them to get excited about two big stars in their small town. The last star who shot in Aurangabad was Sunil Dutt more than 30 years ago. We tried to keep it a secret. But that was impossible," he added.