National award-winning director, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, who is known for his thought-provoking films in Bengali cinema, has struck the right chord with the audience in his debut Bollywood film, Pink. As the film receives rave reviews, the filmmaker, who is referred to as Tony Da by many, gets candid with HT about his experience of working with Amitabh Bachchan, his friendship with Shoojit Sarkar and inspiration behind the film.
Your Bollywood debut film has received a phenomenal response. Did you foresee the success while making it?
This film was made in a very democratic manner. It’s not only my film and had inputs from everyone. It was initially the team’s film and now, the audience’s film. We were convinced with the subject of the film and knew that people will relate to it. But such overwhelming response was unexpected.
What inspired you to make a film on this hard-hitting subject?
Several incidents. Not only the Park Street rape incident, but from different anecdotes and experiences that my female friends have shared with me. It’s a culmination of all of that. It’s a story that everyone can identify with. It’s a strong comment from our end that women shouldn’t be taken for granted. Don’t judge women and stop moral policing against them. When I shared the idea with Shoojit (Sircar), he said that it must be made in Hindi, for a larger audience. It’s a wonderful collaboration that I am enjoying right now, for it is no more a film, it has become a cause.
How did you manage to convince Mr Amitabh Bachchan?
Shoojit had met Mr Bachchan and just shared a two-liner with him about the theme of the film and he agreed. I had not even narrated the script to him. He didn’t even know that I was directing it.
The casting of the film was unconventional. Was it intentional?
Yes. Absolutely. I didn’t want stars in my film, but actors who could become powerful characters. We wanted to make a real film. It was a conscious decision.
Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury says he had never watched any of Taapsee Pannu’s work but she had worked with Shoojit Sircar and he recommended her name, saying: ‘she is fiery’. (Pramod Thakur/HT Photo)
Did you cast Taapsee Pannu for her Delhi connect?
Exactly. I had never seen Taapsee’s films before casting her. But, she had done a film with Shoojit, which is not yet released. He recommended her name for the role, saying ‘she is fiery’ and she did a wonderful job.
How difficult was the transition from Telugu cinema to Bollywood?
It was extremely smooth. I didn’t have any problems while working the technicians in Bombay. In fact, they were cooperative. Apart from the emotional turmoil, which is always there while making a film, there were no glitches.
What are your upcoming projects?
I am working on a Bengali film and have a story in mind for the Hindi audience as well. But now, I want to take a break and enjoy the adulation.
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