Although he comes from one of the biggest families in tinsel town, he’s yet to see the kind of success one would expect to see from an industry scion.
Despite nine films to his credit, he’s most famous as Ali, the character he played in Dhoom and Dhoom 2. Come January and he will make his debut as a producer and writer with Pyaar Impossible. In a quick q and a, Uday Chopra tells us how it all became possible.
Where’ve you been? You seem to have disappeared.
I’ve been around, handling the YRF website. As far as films go, nothing exciting was coming my way, so I decided to focus our production company instead.
It’s said that Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi was actually your idea and upset with brother Aditya Chopra for having borrowed it without credit, you reportedly moved to the family farmhouse for a while.
(Agitatedly) That’s a baseless rumours. Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi was Adi’s brainchild and the family doesn’t own a farmhouse. Now can we talk about Pyaar Impossible please.
Sure, how did it germinate?
Adi suggested that I try writing since I wasn’t getting good roles and was confused about what to do next. He didn’t like what I wrote the first time. So I went back and rewrote. And the result is Pyaar Impossible.
And how much of it is inspired by your own life?
(Smiles) Quite a bit. Years ago, when I was in school, I used to like a girl. But I didn’t know if she liked me since I was something of a geek too. So, my feelings remained locked inside my heart.
You’re still a geek?
(Grins) Yeah, I’m more interested in my iphone, MacBook and gadgets than hot girls.
Buzz is that Priyanka Chopra who wasn’t even the first choice for the lead, is being paid Rs 6 crore for the film, the highest ever for an actress.
Untrue! The minute I finished the final draft, I knew Priyanka was my girl. That’s why she instantly agreed to do the film when Jugal (Hansraj) and I narrated the script to her. Had she declined, I might have had to draw up a wish list but there was no need for that.
Since it’s your comeback film, why didn’t you direct it instead of bringing Jugal Hansraj on board?
Why comeback? I didn’t go anywhere. I was only biding my time. And I’m in the movie because I’m a geek too. Didn’t I just tell you that?
Sure, but Jugal…
(Cuts in) Jugal’s been my bouncing board right from the start. He understands the characters as much as me. He has made the film exactly as I had visualized it. And before you ask me, no, I didn’t interfere. Direction is not an easy job. And with writing, producing and acting, I already had my hands full.
I didn’t want to bite off more than I could chew. I still have a lot to learn before I can take on direction.
What was your father, Yash Chopra’s reaction when told you wanted to produce a film?
He was thrilled. (Smiles) Thank God he didn’t see the first draft that Adi panned. Dad got to know about the film only after Adi had approved of the script.
You must have been upset when your first attempt at writing got the thumbs down?
(Surprised) Why would I get upset if my brother didn’t like the first draft? In fact, I frequently turned to him for advice since he’s more experienced and understands cinema much better than I do.
How involved was he with your film?
(Grins) Well, he didn’t get upset when I disagreed with him. I had complete freedom to make Pyaar Impossible exactly the way I wanted. See, no controversies.
Few films released in the first week of January have worked. Your timing of release is a risk?
If a film is good, it will do well irrespective of the timing. Period.
Right now it’s only Pyaar Impossible. Only after the film releases, depending on the response, I’ll think what to do next. Till then, my fingers are crossed.
What about Dhoom 3?
All that I can tell you about Dhoom 3 is that Abhishek (Bachchan) and I will be in it.
There’s been talk about Shah Rukh Khan also featuring in it as well?
Yeah, but we can’t really say anything about that yet. We still have to lock the script and the director before we get down to casting. Hopefully, it should start in 2010. Even I’m eagerly waiting for it. The two earlier films achieved a kind of a cult status.
At one time you were media shy too but look at you now. Can’t you convince Aditya Chopra to agree to an interview too?
(Smiles)Yes, initially I was shy. But over the years, I’ve learnt to open up and be more forthcoming.
I do try talking to Adi about the media once in a while but he’s happy in his own space, doing the work he loves. He enjoys watching movies with the audience in the theatres. If he started doing interviews he would be mobbed.