Joined: 13 December 2004
Karan Johar must see my film first
KHNH director readies for his star-studded next
Subhash K Jha
Nikhil Advani, the break from Karan Johar's Dharma Films was painful.
But there is a kal for Nikhil beyond Kal Ho Na Ho, and it's called
And the film packs a punch with its large starcast. "My film Salaam-e-Ishq doesn't have Salman Khan-Priyanka Chopra, John Abraham-Vidya Balan, Akshaye-Ayesha Takia, Anil Kapoor-Juhi Chawla, Sohail Khan-Perizaad Zorabian, Govinda and a South African actress Shanon Esra, simply because I wanted to cram my second film with stars. Salaam-e-Ishq has episodic love stories where the courtship of six different couples' will be interwoven into one film. Luckily for me, the six pairs of stars don't come together until the final half hour of the film. Just imagine the headache it would have been to co-ordinate all their dates," says Nikhil.
Considering the mammoth starcast, Nikhil sounds more relaxed than he did after Kal Ho Na Ho. "It was a tense time. The break from Dharma Films was interpreted in different ways by people. Fortunately, the healing process has started. I've resumed interaction with Karan Johar. In fact, I'd want him to be one of the first people to see Salaam-e-Ishq after its completion."
But how did the director get around convincing so many stars to come together? "You might not believe me when I say that it didn't require much convincing at all. Salman was with me from the start. Then I gave Akshaye the script. When he read it, he recommended it to other actors. I think the script sold itself to the stars," says Nikhil. He admits the format is akin to Richard Curtis' Love Actually. "But Salaam-e-Ishq isn't a copy of Love Actually. It's influenced by several other Hollywood films, like Shortcut, Pulp Fiction and Magnolia.
These are the films I've loved and learnt from. I admit the indoor sequences in Kal Ho Na Ho were influenced by the American series Friends while the outdoor sequences resembled Sex & The City. You cannot get away from your past," he adds.
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