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The Rediff Interview / Zayed Khan

'Anil Kapoor asked me to hit him very hard'

November 19, 2008

Zayed Khan

Subash Ghai's Yuvvraaj is one of the most awaited films of the year. What makes it so are the main leads -- Salman Khan [Images] and Katrina Kaif [Images] -- who will be seen romancing each other on the big screen after three years.

Besides the couple, the musical also stars Zayed Khan [Images] and Anil Kapoor [Images]Nithya Ramani caught up with Zayed to know more about the movie. Excerpts:

What is Yuvvraaj about?

It is a story about three brothers fighting over wealth. It is about love, family, morals and how the quest of materialistic things can destroy you.

But the promos show it to be more of a musical film...

Music is a quintessential part of the film. It takes centre stage.

The story about brothers fighting over wealth is something very common in Bollywood. How different is Yuvvraaj?

I had asked Subashji the same thing. He told me, 'Everyday, you wake up, put on your clothes and go about your daily chores. You do this everyday. However, how you do it is another thing. See, fashion changes and you wear different clothes, meet different people and your lifestyle changes accordingly. Similarly, though Yuvvraaj has a common theme, the difference lies in how the characters react to the situations. It shows how the new generation react to family situations.'

Ghai's films have always had larger than life sets with a theatrical touch to them. What do you have to say about his way of filmmaking?

It is all about how people think. His films are on a different scale, more real and made for the theatre audience. People start adjusting to the larger than life sets. But certain things don't change and that is the way Subashji treats his films. Subhashji has a way of viewing things differently.

What is your role in the movie?

I play a very flamboyant, handsome and selfish guy with lots of attitude and arrogance. When I heard about my character, I hoped I wasn't the villain of the film. Though I have never played a role like this before, I felt a very strong connection to the character.

How was the experience of working with the rest of the cast?

Salman is like Fardeen (Khan) -- very loving and caring but at the same time like a child. He is someone who can be a child, a brother or a boss if he wants to. It is very difficult to beat him or to be him. He is very human. I have some very emotional scenes with Salman which doesn't have many dialogues. They are silent yet very powerful.

Anil on the other hand is very disciplined. He is perfect and demanding. He demands of others too as their performances affect his perfomance. He is very sincere, a great thinker, hilarious and jovial. There is one scene where I had to hit him and talk really rudely to him. We were just not getting the scene right. Anil then came up to me and asked me to actually hit him really hard. I thought he was kidding. After much provocation, I actually hit him so hard that he fell off his chair. I immediately rushed to check if he was alright. He didn't allow Subashji to cut the scene nor me to change my expression. He asked me to continue with the scene. I obliged but very nervously as I was worried about him. That is the kind of passion he has towards his work.

Where do you see your career going as you don't have many hits to your credit? Your last movie, Mission Istanbul [Images] flopped...

It is a pity that a film's fate lies in the hands of a critic. I had great hopes for Mission Istanbul as Apoorva Lakhia (the film's director) didn't make the film as badly as how it has been perceived. I am upset that it didn't do well as a lot of hard work had gone into it. As far my filmi career is concerned, I will persevere until I get success.

Do you take tips from your co-stars?

Yes. If it makes sense to me.

From Fardeen and Hrithik Roshan [Images]?

Fardeen always makes sense to me. As for Hrithik, I think I am not as serious an actor as he is. He is too involved in his acting that there is nothing else left in his life. Anyway, I have learnt a lot from him, especially how to say no. I want to be like him.

What next?

After Yuvvraaj, there is Blue.

What is Blue about?

I can't reveal much. All I can say is that it involves an underwater treasure hunt.

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