You seem busy?
I am, I have three films on the floors.
But Naughty @ 40 is stuck?
Yeah, following a liquidity crunch. Producer Anuj Sharma is hoping to finish it. It would be a shame if it weren’t completed. Govinda is really good in it, he fits the character like a glove. Half the film is done and edited. We had a budget of Rs 10 crore. Anuj wants to cut it down.
It’s inspired by the Hollywood movie The 40 Year Old Virgin, right?
Just the first half about a guy who can’t get laid. The second half is inspired by the old Indian film, Anubhav, about a guy who wants to consummate his marriage but his wife is an innocent tomboy and keeps running away from him. So, in my film this 40-year-old guy gets laid before or after marriage.
Wasn’t it being shot in the U K?
The first half is set in the UK.We shot in Soho and Slough. We also filmed a song, Hey dude, don’t be a prude, in London. Govinda’s character is infatuated by a British girl but returns to India and marries an Indian girl from a village in Punjab. Then bumps into the British girl again.. Naughty @ 40 is a commercial Bollywood family sex comedy. There is no nudity or explicit sex though. It will get a U/A rating.
But will there be takers for such a movie?
Anubhav was made 20 years ago and it was a big hit!
What else are you up to?
There’s Chase, a Hitchcock thriller about an innocent man in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is an eyewitness to a murder and gets framed for it. The Anuj Saxena-Udita Goswami starrer was shot in Panchgani and will be released later this year. It’s a small movie with a Rs 8 crore budget. It’s 90 per cent complete.
That makes two?
There’s a suspense thriller, Apartment, toplining Tanushree Dutta. It’s about an airhostess living in Mumbai who needs a roommate. A sweet girl from a small town who works in a call centre turns up. She slowly turns crazy and keeps the air-hostess hostage in her own apartment. I’ve just started shooting this Rs 5 crore film, in and around Mumbai.
I’ve got three more films including a big budget romantic comedy about a bitter divorce for Shemaroo Entertainment. I’ll start work on them after I finish these three.
Previously you did more social issue-based films.. now you’ve turned commercial. Govinda came to me with the script of Naughty @ 40 and asked me to direct it. He said, “You will get an audience like never before.” And multiplexes are into thrillers and horrors today.
There was a bio-pic on Sonia Gandhi too?
I was served a legal notice by the Congress Party not to do it. I went to meet her and told her I had no political agenda. It was how, after a chance encounter, a man brings a young Italian girl to become the leader of millions. Most of it is a love story in Cambridge. It has been written by American Carl Austin. They have asked me to wait until after the elections.
Your last film, Shoot at Sight, didn’t do well..
Not at the box office but after 26/11, many NGOs want to screen it because it is about how terrorism can divide communities. It’s big on the DVD and satellite circuit too. Films find their audiences and that is what has happened.