After a hiatus of almost two years, he’s back, producing and acting in his own film, Pyar Impossible. Here’s Uday Chopra talking movies with Vajir Singh.
Where have you been hiding?
(Laughs) I’d taken a sabbatical from the movies. I was doing other things and not too excited about the movie offers coming my way. So, I decided to stay away or I’d probably end up not acting at all. I was working in my company.. handling Yash Raj’s news and digital media. For a year now, I’ve also been working on my own script. And now, the film is ready to go on the floors.
Your production house makes several films in a year. Someone could have designed a project to your specifications?
I’ve said this before and I repeat..at Yash Raj Films we don’t make movies for actors. We decide on a script and cast actors who fit in. We have never made films for Uday Chopra. In Yash Raj, I’m treated like any other actor. I don’t get preference because I am the producer’s son or brother.
Apparently, you are not interested in working outside your banner?
I think people just believed that and I don’t blame them. Ninety per cent of my movies have been with Yash Raj Films.
That’s why the producers must have decided, “Yeh bahar kaam hi nahin karta.. to iske paas jao hi mat.” I’m trying to break that notion.
By talking to you. (Smiles) Maybe they will read this and approach me.
Have you ever approached anyone on your own?
At times, when I’ve liked a project I’ve spoken to the producers. But things didn’t work out.
Like David Dhawan’s Hook ya Crook?
Yes, that movie was offered to me. It’s an exciting role but I couldn’t do it because my own project was starting. I’m producing and acting in it. Hook ya Crook was to start in December. But they finally started in February. I didn’t have the dates.. so I opted out.
What’s the news on Dhoom 3?
It will be made. The script is still being worked on and could take some more time. Rumours about me directing it are baseless. (Laughs) I’m not directing Dhoom 3.. maybe Dhoom 5.
A family war has been reported between Aditya Chopra and you.
What’s this? A war between my brother and me? I haven’t heard this one before. You’re the first to tell me about it.
So is it true?
No, there is no war between us.. touchwood.
Even though he doesn’t cast you in films?
(Smiles) An actor is only as good as the role offered to him. Actors choose from what they are offered. I decided not to act unless it was worth my time. I would rather produce and direct. Buzz is that you are shifting base to Pune even though your father is trying to convince you to stay put. I’ve not heard this before either. How can I live in Pune and travel to work every day? I keep checking Google but I’ve never come across this bit of news.
Maybe you should start reading the newspapers?
(Smiles) Maybe I should. There are some things that I have heard about.. but not this one.
So, what have you heard of?
You ask. (Smiles)
Rani Mukherji calling the shots at Yash Raj Films?
Yeah, I’ve heard that but, believe me, it’s baseless. I think the problem is that we rarely speak to the press. My father and brother are inaccessible. So, people write stuff without clarifying. They know that no one will come forward and say that it’s not true. But I can clarify that Rani Mukherji doesn’t call the shots.
So who’s the YRF boss?
My father, for sure. And then, my brother. They are the decision makers.
I still have to prove myself. They have but I still have a long way to go.
What’s the plan now?
My film, Pyar Impossible, is starting and all my energies are focused on that. We start shooting in April. Jugal Hansraj is directing it. Priyanka Chopra is the actress.
Pyar Impossible.. is it your autobiography?
Is the film about what happened between Tanisha Mukherji and you?
(Laughs) No, no, but the character I’m playing is close to me.
Tanisha and you were planning to get married, right?
Again, because we never spoke openly, there’s been a lot of conjecture in the press. We had a great relationship.. we’re still friends. But there’s no romance left. Back then, we didn’t want to talk about it. So people chose to write what they wanted.
Kajol took both of you to the Abhishek Bachchan-Aishwarya Rai wedding and it was said then that you would be the next to tie the knot.
Of course, we went together. Tanisha and I were in a relationship then.. we were seeing each other. But that doesn’t mean we were going to get married. When you have a girlfriend, you go out together. That’s how it is.
So, what went wrong?
Why rake up the past? (Smiles) We still talk to each other and are friends.
Of late, plenty of YRF films like Tashan, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag and Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic haven’t done well. What do you think went wrong?
No one has a success formula. People make mistakes and learn from them. Yeah, we did have failures but we also had successes. There will be ups and downs. That’s the whole idea behind the business of moviemaking. No one can deliver 100 per cent hits all the time. In the midst of those failures, we had a Chak De! India and a Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi which were huge hits. You have to look at the complete track record of a company before you judge whether it’s doing well or not.
Is the deal between YRF and Walt Disney still on despite the failure of Roadside Romeo?
That should not be part of this conversation.
Recently, the CEO of YRF, Sanjeev Kohli, decided to quit.
It’s not in my purview of things to discuss that either.