First time director Punit Malhotra, nephew of ace designer Manish Malhotra, says he had written the script of directorial debut I Hate Luv Storys with Imran Khan in mind and feels the actor is "simply outstanding" in the film.
"When I was writing the film, I had written Jay's character with Imran in my mind. I knew that he would be best for the role and no one else; so there was no confusion about it," Punit told IANS. He has assisted Karan Johar in several hit movies like Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Kal Ho Naa Ho and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna.
"When I saw him acting in the film, I realised I was right, because he is simply outstanding in the film," added the 28-year-old.
Slated to hit the screens on July 2, I Hate Luv Storys has been produced by Karan Johar under his banner Dharma Productions and stars Sonam Kapoor in the main lead.
The story revolves around Jay and Simran, who are complete opposites when it comes to romance. While Jay doesn't believe in love, Simran swears by it and has a very Bollywood idea of the emotion.
In the film, both of them work for a well-known director who specialises in romantic flicks.
Talking about the on-screen chemistry of his lead pair, Punit said: "Sonam and Imran have been paired together for the first time; so it is a very fresh pair. Sonam was Manish's suggestion and she looks very good with Imran."
Getting one of the most sought after producers in the industry to back your project is not an easy task, but Punit says Karan himself motivated him to wield the megaphone.
"Karan always used to tell me that I should direct a film. So finally when I wrote the script of I Hate..., I went to him. He liked the script a lot and immediately said yes."
So as a producer and someone who has directed hit films himself, did Karan give enough creative freedom?
"Karan completely trusted me with what I was doing and gave me complete creative freedom. It was always good to have him around because you get to learn so much, but he never interfered," said Punit, who independently handled this project after working as an assistant director for 11 years.
Asked about his future plans, he said: "There is no immediate plan. I might go for a vacation or just sit back and chill for some time and then I will get back to making movies."