Priyanka Chopra plays an upcoming actress and Shahid Kapoor plays a struggling music composer from the 1960s in Kunal Kohli's film, tentatively titled 'Teri Meri Kahaani'. But unlike most filmmakers who highlight an actress's dilemmas in movies about life in showbiz, Kohli says Priyanka's character is 'happy'.
'Neither Priyanka nor Shahid is in an unhappy space in the script. The fact that they're both intrinsically happy people helped,' said Kohli.
Reacting tongue-in-cheek to the character being described as an unhappy actress lost in a haze of alcohol, Kohli quipped: 'I think they're getting my film confused with the second-half of 'The Dirty Picture'. Priyanka plays a very happy actress in my film.'
The director was so clear about his character's characteristics that he wanted Priyanka and Shahid to visit those emotions, places and friends during the shooting of the film, that only kept them happy.
When asked if his film was in any way responsible for the delay in 'Barfee', Kohli said: 'On the contrary Anurag Basu and I have swapped Priyanka's dates. I took his one-month schedule from 15 August to 15 September to shoot in London and I gave my schedule from 15 July to 15 August to Anurag. Beyond that I've no clue about the schedules of 'Barfee'. I shot with Priyanka on the dates allocated to me. That's it.'
But the fact is, Kohli's epic film, the story of which spans nearly a decade and required shooting at a number of locations, was completed in record time.
Priyanka has done as much homework playing the autistic character in 'Barfee' as she did to play the 'happy' 1960s' actress in 'Teri Meri...'. For Kohli's film, she was regularly in touch with two of the most glamorous actresses of the period -- Asha Parekh and Saira Banu, taking not just fashion tips but also tips on how to remain positive and sunny.
'It wasn't just about the clothes and hair. Ashaji and Sairaji represent a certain spirit of bonhomie and joy. I wanted Priyanka to play her character with the same positivity. She is an actress but no 'bechari' and certainly not a victim,' said Kohli, known for films like 'Hum Tum' and 'Fanaa'.