Shoojit Sircar’s Vicky Donor raised many eyebrows during its shooting schedule in Delhi. “Many people wanted to know what a ‘sperm’ is and who this ‘donor’ was. We kept the answers limited to avoid having our permissions cancelled,” says Shoojit, whose upcoming rom-com touches on the still-taboo topic of infertility and sperm donation.
The director is optimistic that the film will strike a chord with youngsters and married couples.
“Maybe the kids can persuade their mummy-papas to watch it too,” he reasons, pointing out that the promos were okayed with a U/A certificate. After Yahaan (2005), a serious romance set in Kashmir, and the still-to-release Shoebite, a love drama starring Amitabh Bachchan, Shoojit is exploring the comedy genre for the first time.
So when his writer, Juhi Chaturvedi, mooted the idea, he says that he had to make the film. “I knew many established stars would like the script, but I was pretty sure none of them would agree to act in the film. Ayushman was the first choice ever since he auditioned and read the script,” says Shoojit.
“What came as a surprise was John (Abraham) stepping in. He doesn’t fit the age profile or image of the lead, but just having him as a producer to take the film forward is a huge boost,” he adds.
Wanted: Beck, Pitt
As part of his research, Shoojit met many doctors and learnt that many parents abroad want their babies to look like footballer David Beckham or Hollywood star Brad Pitt. Back home, it’s mostly the Bollywood stars.
“One Mumbai doctor told me that a 35-year-old socialite had come to him saying she didn’t like men and wasn’t looking for a husband, but wanted a baby who looked like a designer she knew,” he says, before recalling a report about a Chennai couple advertising for an IITian sperm. “They were ready to pay big money too, I wonder if they got their donor. We’re still pretty clueless on this subject. I’ll be happy if my film can provide some answers and make Vicky the top donor,” he adds.