Imtiaz Ali, who has directed Saif Ali Khan's maiden production venture Love Aaj Kal, says the actor neither behaved like a typical producer nor interfered on the sets of the forthcoming film.
"Saif, the producer, was non-existent on the sets and there was only the actor Saif present there. There was no interference or anything else on his part. He never made us feel that he is also the producer of the film," Ali told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
"But Saif sure has a vision and knows what he wants. At the personal level, he is a wonderful person... someone who becomes a friend remains a friend for ever," he added.
In Love Aaj Kal, Saif, who is co-producing it with Dinesh Vijan under their banner Illuminati Films, has teamed up with Deepika Padukone.
Releasing July 31, the film also stars yesteryears hit couple Neetu Singh and Rishi Kapoor along with Rahul Khanna.
Talking about the onscreen chemistry of Saif and Deepika, who are working together for the first time in the film, Ali said: "The onscreen chemistry between Saif and Deepika is just amazing and fulfilling. It is exactly the way I wanted."
Set in two different eras, the film focuses on relationship and shows that the experience of being in love remains the same.
Even though the release of the film is round the corner, Ali says he is neither excited nor nervous.
"I'm completely stone-hearted at the moment. I'm still doing 16 hours of work for the film's promotion and don't have time to feel the excitement or the nervousness. So right now I'm feeling nothing," he said.
When asked why he didn't repeat Kareena Kapoor, who featured in his 2007 blockbuster Jab We Met, the director said his choice of actors depended upon suitability of characters in his script.
"Deepika was the only choice for the role of Meera in the film because she suits the character very much. There was no one else in my mind for that role.
"I'm quite happy with my decision because Deepika has done a brilliant job. She has got something of her own in the role," said Ali who debuted as a feature film director with 2005 light-romantic movie Socha Na Tha, starring Abhay Deol and Ayesha Takia.
He has scored a hat trick of romantic films with Love Aaj Kal.
Any plans to make a film in any other genre?
"I do things that excite me. My three films have been love stories because the subjects excited me. But I don't think I will stick only to this genre. My interests are much larger and I think that will make me branch out into something else very soon," he said.
As far as his future projects are concerned, Ali is not very sure what he will take up after the release of Love Aaj Kal.
"I haven''t decided on my next film as of now. I have two-three stories in mind. Let's see which is the strongest contender," he said.
(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)