'I would pay to direct a film'
The passions of Kaizad Gustad
After the popular
Bombay Boys, Kaizad Gustad is back with his new film, Boom.
The films have quite a bit in common. While
Bombay Boys dealt with three
wannabe actors, Boom deals with
three supermodels, Padma Lakshmi, Katrina Kaif and Madhu Sapre.
The underworld plays a prominent part in both films too. Gustad
claims his films 'are similar in sensibility and genre but the
stories are completely different'.
The Ayesha Shroff production will star real-life fashion designers Anna Singh, Hemant Trevedi, Malani Ramani, Manish Malhotra, Rohit
Bal, Tarun Tahiliani and Wendell Rodricks as themselves. It also
stars Zeenat Aman, Amitabh Bachchan, Seema Biswas, Jackie Shroff,
Gulshan Grover and Javed Jaffrey.
Lata Khubchandani spoke to the young
director about his latest venture.
What motivates you to write the kind of scripts you do?
The stories are personal to me. At the end of the day, it is
difficult to write about stuff you don't know or stuff that does
not interest you. I don't write for a perceived market nor do I
have any formula. I like to write stuff that I find relevant,
interesting or amusing. And if it works for others, that's
Does it mean that you are not looking at the commercial
I don't think any writer starts off writing a commercial story. I
mean, what is the point? One can't define 'commercial' anymore.
And I hate definitions because they end up becoming labels anyway.
Writers tend to write what they like.
How much of a commercial aspect did Bombay
Boys have when you review it now?
I don't really know. But we were quite surprised by the market it
had or the number of people who came to see it. I think I
undermined it. I try not to live my life in hindsight.
But wouldn't you have learnt from the reception Bombay Boys got?
Sure. One learns from everything. But I don't think there is a
formula that says this will or not work. You can have the biggest
stars, the biggest budget, and if it's not going to work, it will
not. At the end of the day, it comes down to whether it is a good
film or a bad one.
When Bombay Boys was a success,
what kind of impetus did it give you?
I make films because I enjoy making them. I would pay for the
privilege of being a director. I don't think it would have made
any difference to my outlook as a writer or director at all.
Fortunately, it succeeded.
There were a lot of offers. But I take a long time to write. It
took me three years to bring Bombay
Boys to a stage where I liked it, on paper. It took me
as long to come up with Boom.
What is the highlight of Boom?
Boom is my first English,
independent, offbeat film that has everyone from Zeenat Aman to
Amitabh Bachchan, from Bo Derek to Seema Biswas and three
supermodels. It's a very interesting cast. This combination hasn't
happened before, so it will be an experiment to see how it
How was it directing Amitabh Bachchan?
Great. He's an amazing actor. His timing is perfect.
But directing him is no different from directing any other
But does it remain that the success of your first film allowed
you to make this one?
Every film stands on its own legs. How much I am worth in this
industry makes no difference. So I can afford to do what I want.
It is far more interesting as an artiste to be able to do what you
want to do as opposed to what everyone is doing.
Have you identified what that is?
I want to always make films that I want to make and that's not
driven by anything.
What drives you?
Life. It's such a miracle to wake up every day and do something
new. No two days are the same in my life and I try to keep it that
way. There are so many things to do.
You even have a travelogue to your credit...
Yes. It is a collection of stories from my travels at 18. Of No Fixed Address was published by
HarperCollins. It did very well. When I look back, I laugh because
I was just 18 and I wanted to see the world. My only possession
was a backpack and a diary called Of No Fixed
Address because I had no address for three years.
It was published ten years after I wrote it.
Would you direct a story written by someone else?
I have tried doing that, but it is tough. To me, the most
important person in the film is the writer because the very seed
of the idea has come from him. If that seed is rotten, the plant
will always be rotten. So I have a lot of respect for writers.
Even though I'm a writer myself, I find it very difficult to write
on a blank piece of paper. Once that is there, everything falls
I'd love to be able to direct somebody else's work. There are a
couple of foreign films I will direct. The
Film, written by John Winter, is a big Hollywood and
Bollywood type of project, with international stars. Then, there
is Chocolate Vanilla, which I
scripted and will direct.