Anees Bazmee on casting Kajol, Ajay Devgn in a film: ‘I’ll bring them together when I have a suitable script’
Filmmaker Anees Bazmee is currently working on his next film Pagalpanti in London. The director spoke to Hindustan Times about the film and much more.Updated: Apr 18, 2019 17:37 IST
Fimmaker Anees Bazmee, who directed Salman Khan in No Entry and Ready and made films such as Deewangee and Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha with Ajay Devgn, is currently working on his next film, Pagalpanti. The director is in London with the entire cast of the film, which he claims will present John Abraham in a never-seen-before avatar. In an exclusive chat with Hindustan Times, Anees spoke about the film, his equation with Anil Kapoor , the success mantra of making a successful comedy and more.
You are currently working on your next film titled Pagalpanti. What’s the madness all about?
I don’t see much of comedy in my films but the audience will see a lot of comedy in this film, which I am doing in a very serious way. I don’t follow that style of filmmaking where actors are pulling their hair, making faces, falling down here and there or slapping each other. It’s like a torture for the actors when they have to do what’s written in the script and don’t get to add their input. I do situational comedy and my plus point is writing. I write the screenplay in such a manner that all actors have to play their parts very seriously. There are some scenes where the actors are genuinely crying in the comedy.
Pagalpanti is a larger-than-life film with some wonderful songs and a lot of romance, action, thrill and comedy. It is a complete package – a full masala commercial film.
Have you shot a special sequence in London?
We have been shooting songs since March 20. Before that, we were shooting for the talkie portion and have almost completed it. There are three high-octane comedy action sequences and we have been picturized them well. We are also shooting the dance numbers at a massive level and they will be worth a watch.
You have worked with Anil Kapoor in five films so far and are working with him again in Pagalpanti. What brings you together again and again?
You can say our kundlis match with each other. He is a friend and an honest actor. I have always had a very good tuning with him be it No Entry, Welcome Back or Mubarakan. The audience have liked him and he has had a lot of fun working in these films. When I feel there is a good role and he can play that character then why should I look for someone else. We are both very comfortable with each other and work with a lot of enthusiasm.
John Abraham has delivered back to back patriotic films in last two years. You are bringing him back in a comedy. Why did you choose him?
I think there was not much of a comedy on John’s part as he was playing the role of a dada (goon). The main comedy was done by Nana Patekar and Anil ji. But there were a few scenes where I saw John’s expressions and felt that he can do fantastic comedy. When I told him the script, he liked it very much and was so excited and happy that he said ‘let’s do it’. He is working very hard and it will come as a pleasant surprise for the audience to see him in a different avatar. I am sure people will love him. He will be seen in a chiseled look, flexing muscles but plays a common man who is also afraid of everyone.
Do you think there is a success formula for making a good comedy film?
Not just comedy, when you make a film in any genre, there is just one success mantra -- work on a good script with complete honesty and give it your best. When I write a film and don’t feel excited, I think why should I make it at all when I don’t feel happy about it. I work for my own excitement.
I go outdoors, hardly sleep for 2-3 hours and keep on thinking all night if the scene is good and if people will like it and how can I make it better. My day doesn’t end with pack-up at 6pm followed by a picnic. I go back, get ready and sit to write to make it better. I don’t know the fate of the film but I should have a satisfaction that I didn’t fall short of hard work. It really matters to me if I have written the script with honesty, all the actors are happy and there is a good atmosphere on the sets. It doesn’t feel like shooting on the sets, we all sit together and laugh over the shots and it feels like a long picnic.
Have you watched a comedy film recently? Which one did you like?
I have been working on Pagalpanti since four months and haven’t watched any film. My problem is when I am working on a film, I don’t watch any film. I don’t even watch my own previous films in case I like a scene and think of repeating it in my new film. I had watched Bareilly Ki Barfi and really liked it. It was a very normal and natural kind of comedy.
You are one of the very few people who have directed Ajay Devgn and Kajol together, first in your debut film Hulchal (1995) and then in Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha (1998). Will you be able to bring them together on the silver screen again?
I love to work with them and I am sure they would love to work with me. We share a great equation. Both Kajol and Ajay are my very good friends. I made the first film of my life with them so they are always special for me. Then I made Pyaar to Hona Hi Tha which was a big hit. Ajay had a very different role in the film and Kajol had delivered a very good performance. They tied the knot around the same time. I know them since then and even now when we meet each other, it feels as if we met just a few days ago. If I have a script which I can make with them, I will definitely bring them together and they will love to be on board.
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