He had to make faces and do somersaults to entertain Darsheel Safary on the sets of
. Still, director Satyajit Bhatkal says that it was an amazing experience to work with the 13-year-old.
"Darsheel was an obvious choice for Zokkomon after Taare Zameen Par because he showed the world what an extraordinary talent we have in this kid. He is a fantastically talented actor and was the right choice for the role," Bhatkal said.
"It was an amazing experience to work with him despite the fact that I had to call him 100 times for a shot, shout at him, make faces to entertain him and turn a somersault. But what came out was extraordinary. What an actor he is."
Darsheel impressed both audiences and critics with his sensitive performance as a dyslexic child in Aamir Khan's directorial debut Taare Zameen Par.
"Darsheel is an extremely sensitive child. Despite the struggle that goes into filmmaking, he has retained his innocence of being a child and even behaves like one," said Bhatkal.
"He is not a regular actor. You have to treat him like a child and he will treat you like a child treats an adult and that will fetch amazing results," he added.
Produced by Walt Disney Motion Pictures India, the action-adventure also stars Anupam Kher and Manjari Phadnis. Releasing May 7, it has been co-written by Bhatkal, his wife Svati and Lancy Fernandes.
" Zokkomon is about an ordinary child who achieves extraordinary things. It's a film which is primarily about awakening the hero within, discovering the courage and strength of your convictions and courage," said Bhatkal.
"It is a film about a child who overcomes adversity not by any god given super powers but by sheer conviction. Zokkomon is not a regular superhero movie. It is about a regular kid who is faced with difficulties and how he overcomes them through his own bravery. That's why his standard dialogue in the film is mann me hai vishwas to har darr hai bakwas,".
The idea to make the film came from a newspaper article.
"The core of the film is very real, but we are pitching it 'x' degrees away from reality. We would like the audiences to look forward to an entertaining and inspiring story with a hopeful message," he said.
After practising law in the Bombay High Court for over a decade, Bhatkal joined showbiz with the production team of Aamir Khan-starrer Lagaan. He then wrote the book The Spirit of Lagaan and wielded the megaphone for National Award-winning English film Madness in the Desert (Chale Chalo in Hindi).
He also wrote and produced NDTV mini series Bombay Lawyers before graduating to feature film direction.