Joined: 01 November 2005
'Comedy is the toughest act'
|That's what SATISH KAUSHIK found out while making Shaadi Se Pehle. He tells Pratim D. Gupta all about it, his acting stints, and the Kareena-Shahid chemistry|
lHaving been a comedy actor throughout, why did it take you so long to direct a comedy?
Yes, that's what I told Subhashji (Ghai). That I have always done comedy as an actor but the films I have made have either been romantic films like Prem and Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai or emotional films like Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rahete Hain and Tere Naam. Yes, Shaadi Se Pehle is my first out-and-out comedy film. Also, this is the first time I am directing a film for Subhashji, even though I was the first director to be signed by Mukta Arts outside their production house, right at the time of Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja.
lSo, how did you find directing a comedy vis--vis an emotional film?
I found making a comedy the toughest thing to do. You see, comedy is a coming together of a lot of things — timing, expressions, lines… In a romantic or emotional film, strong dialogues can bail you out, but not so with a comedy. Even though Shaadi Se Pehle is a verbose comedy, you have to be on your toes as a director. The actors are in a certain mood during the shot, so as a director you have to make sure that he or she gets the comic nuances perfectly. And I have had so much experience as a comic actor. I had also written the dialogues of Kundan Shah's Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron. Yet, I had to be alert all the time to bring the best performances out of my cast.
lWhat is Shaadi Se Pehle all about?
Oh! It is full of fun. At times, it defies logic and becomes a complete entertainer. You don't have to think too much while watching. The comedy is on the lines of Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron and Munnabhai MBBS. Shaadi Se Pehle is the story of a hypochondriac guy who falls sick at the drop of a hat. And he is so disturbed that he sometimes takes zukhaam ki dava for a sardard and a sardard ki dava for a zukhaam. He keeps landing up in self-created problems leading to a lot of funny situations. The whole film revolves around this protagonist.
lWhy did you choose Akshaye Khanna to play this all-important character?
He is very talented and very dedicated. He has his own sense of comic timing. It is such a pivotal role that we needed somebody who was experienced and could handle the comic situations well. Akshaye is, of course, supported by a lovely ensemble cast including Ayesha Takia, Mallika Sherawat, Suniel Shetty, Rajpal Yadav, Boman Irani and Anupam Kher.
lMallika is said to be a very difficult actress to work with. What was your experience?
Just the opposite. She was very focused and professional on the sets and knew exactly what was happening in the scenes. In fact, I shared a great rapport with her. I am sure after Shaadi Se Pehle, she will get a wider variety of roles. This film should be the first step to prove that Mallika is an actress also. I found her performance levels to be very good. She may project herself in a way she wants to but her passion for her career will take her far.
lAnd you are doing two films with Ayesha Takia…
Yes, I am doing a Balaji film with her and Tusshar Kapoor titled Kya Love Story Hai! Ayesha is a very natural actress with no hang-ups whatsoever. She plays a very bubbly character in Shaadi Se Pehle and she has done a good job.
lAfter Shaadi Se Pehle, you have Milenge Milenge …
That should release by July or August. It has Shahid Kapur and Kareena Kapoor. Kareena, of course, I have directed in Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai. Shahid is someone I have known since his childhood. I had a great experience with the two of them. Milenge Milenge is a dreamy romantic film and their on-screen chemistry is just awesome. The movie also brings their personal lives into play since they are two people so passionately in love in real life.
lYou recently sparkled as one of the three old men in Umar. Why do we see so little of you in front of the camera these days?
For that I have to get roles like the one I got in Umar. When you are young, you can do anything but after a certain age, you want to do something substantial. I have always maintained that I am not just a comic actor and I can deliver other kinds of roles. If I get more opportunities I will definitely take them up alongside my direction projects.
Joined: 27 January 2005
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