TV show Ikke Pe Ikka is history and host Sajid Khan is now a director ready with his debut Heyy Babyy. He chats about his new role.
Did you enjoy direction?
It’s very tiresome. You have to be a coordinator. Being a director just doesn’t mean writing a script, talking to actors and taking shots. There’s much more involved — you have to mediate between egos, make sure everyone is comfortable, take care of your crew, always liven up the sets with your jokes.
I decided nobody was going to have lunch in their vans and everybody sat together and had lunch under the same roof. Initially there was a bit of resistance, but later everybody started doing that. And being a director means answering 100 questions a day, out of which 99 of them you don’t have an answer to. But I still have to answer them so perfectly that sounds convincing.
Heyy Babyy is a comedy…
The reason it is a comedy is that my name is synonymous with comedy. I have tried to keep it very Chaplinesque where the humour has a reason and takes the story ahead. If I were to compare it, I would like to do it with Munnabhai. It’s a comedy, which will also make a tear roll down your eyes.
It has a message, but not as dramatic as the one in Munnabhai. The message is simple —don’t treat women badly all the time and not all men are bastards. My job is to make an entertaining film. I believe that it’s a big crime for a maker if you can’t make the audience enjoy your film.
What is your target audience?
Kids and women are going to love the film. The guys are going to completely agree with the film. You can see it with the family and not get embarrassed. It talks about sexuality in a straightforward manner without beating about the bush.
<b1>You have two masters at comedy, Akshay Kumar and Riteish Deshmukh, with not-so-comfortable with comedy Fardeen Khan and Vidya Balan... Was it a challenge to portray the latter two in a humorous film?
No, it was not. Fardeen and Vidya are good actors and I know them very well since they are friends. It’s like you go out and say you had an intellectual conversation with Sajid Khan and nobody would believe it. Once you see the film you will realise that they are very fine actors.
The title track has almost all the beauties from the industry…
They all are my friends and it was the title track. They all agreed to come on a one-month notice. You know it’s a big budget film, the most expensive comedy film ever made. Its budget is Rs 42 crore.
What is your take on comedies?
Very honestly, out of every 20 only one is genuine. My kind of comedy is something that you can watch with your driver and still relate to it.
Sajid Khan seems to be a very serious person…
I am not funny by nature. In fact I am a very serious person, very reclusive. I don’t like parties. What you see on TV is a paid job. What you see is not exactly what you get. I sit at home for days. I don’t like being in the limelight. I am on the job only because I need a job. If there were more money driving a truck, I would drive a truck. Talking without a script comes naturally to me.
Sajid Khan is still single...
As soon as you find me a girl my friend I will marry, but she has to share the same passion as I have for films. And she has to be intelligent. I can’t share the rest of my life with someone who doesn’t love movies.
What about TV and acting?
I love TV. A lot of people thought I had retired but I haven’t. I am also working on my next film, which I shall start by the end of this year. It will be an action film. It is a very ambitious project. Hopefully Heyy Babyy will be a big leap. I want to make an action film, which has not been done before. And far as acting goes, the right script has to come. I can’t spend working for 80-90 days with people I don’t like yaar.