Tanu Weds Manu producer Vinod Bachchan’s journey from a small UP village to tinsel town is a typical Bollywood potboiler. Bachchan, who is currently producing Rajkummar Rao starrer Shadi Mein Zaroor Aana, which is being shot in Lucknow, spoke to HT City on the sidelines of the shoot.
After his parent’s death, Bachchan ran away from scantly populated village Daryaganj in Etah and landed in Mumbai. The 14-year-old had come with dreams to become a hero but had to struggle to make ends meet. From assisting in films, doing job in Dubai, real-estate consultancy to owning a production company, he has come a long way.
“Footpath at home, food at gurudwara…those were very tough years. My dream of becoming an actor soon faded. Then I got chance to assist actor-director Mazhar Khan. I worked with Shashilal Nair, Swaroop Kumar and did 18 films as an assistant director,” he tells HT City. Bachchan also acted in few TV serials.
His life took another twist when he went to Dubai where he worked in the hospitality industry for two years. “In his phase I was completely off the film industry radar and focused on earning money in the hotel industry. I came back to Mumbai and started property consultancy. Here my contacts the film industry during my assistant-director days came in handy and soon I started catering exclusively to the film industry people. Today my client list includes most of the big actors, directors, producers and technicians.”
In 2004, he turned producer with ‘Rain’ that had Meghna Naidu and Himanshu Malik. His film list includes TWM, Jigariyaa and Zila Ghaziabad. “Out of six films that I have produced, five are based in UP. I like to produce films which tell the tale of the common man. My mantra is to make films on middle class family ke kahani and that is my real audience. Tanu Weds Manu’s success is a testimony of this. ‘Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana,’ directed by Ratna Sinha (producer-director Anubhav Sinha’s wife) is too a family entertainer and everyone would be able to relate with it,” he says.
The film has been shot in Allahabad, has a 30 day schedule in Lucknow and will finally be wrapped off in Kanpur. The film’s story is by Kamal Pandey (Saheb Biwi and Gangster Returns).
Talking about UP and filmy connect he says, “The film industry is full of people from our state. If this is our janmabhoomi, Mumbai is our karmabhoomi. It’s great that so many people are shooting films here. There is lot to explore in Uttar Pradesh in term of locations and culture.”
His next production, ‘Yaaron Ki Baraat,’ too is set in the state capital. “The film has been written by Ikram Akhtar, a Lucknowite, who wrote films like Ready, Thank You and No Problem. It has a big starcast but we will like to announce it after sometime,” he says. Jassi Weds Jassi is another film he will be producing. “This has Kartik Aryan, Arbaaz Khan and Paresh Rawal. This film has flavour of Punjab and we will like to shoot it there,” he says before signing off.