'Hope Tiger Shroff gets the audience love his father got'
'Tiger is a great guy on and off the screen. My fingers are crossed for him.'
Director Sabbir Khan discusses Heropanti.
Director Sabbir Khan has a huge task on his hands -- to launch Jackie Shroff's son Tiger in his new film, Heropanti.
The reviews weren't as favourable but Khan -- who had directed the Akshay Kumar-Kareena Kapoor debacle Kambakth Ishq before -- seems hopeful about his second project.
Khan tells Patcy N why he chose to direct Heropanti, and much more.
What was Tiger Shroff like to work with?
It was a huge task to open him up. He is very shy and polite when the role demanded something totally different.
We had a four-month workshop. It took him that much time to get into the script and become the character. Once he understood his character better, things became easier.
For about a month or two, we only spoke about movies and performances, went through a lot of books on film material, and slowly he started absorbing everything.
He adapted really well but it was a slow process.
Many years ago, I saw Sridevi shooting at Mehboob Studio. Before the shot, she looked very shy and scared, and suddenly in front of the camera she was like fire.
He has two shades to his personality. He is shy and reserved, but the minute the camera is on, he opens up.
He is very comfortable in front of the camera.
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Image: Tiger Shroff and Kriti Sanon
'I thought kissing would be a problem because of his shyness'
Did you write the script with Tiger in mind?
No, the script was written much earlier.
There was action in the script already, but once Tiger came on board, I realised that there are things he does that are extraordinary.
I saw some of his stunt training and videos. He trains with national level gymnasts, he dances well. I have highlighted those scenes.
He has brought a new style of stunts to this film.
What do you think about Tiger’s career?
I hope that all the hard work he put in pays off.
Tiger is great guy on and off the screen. My fingers are crossed for him.
I hope he gets the love from the audience that his father got.
There is a kissing scene in the film. Was it difficult to get him to do romantic scenes?
I thought it would be a problem because of his shyness. We auditioned many actresses for two-three months, and that made his shyness go away. By the time we cast Kriti Sanon, he was totally comfortable.
On first day of the photo shoot, I told Kriti that he is a very shy guy, you will have to manage a bit. After a couple of shots, she told me that he is not at all shy, he is fine.
Image: Kriti Sanon and Tiger Shroff
'My producer says that Kambakkht Ishq is a big money spinner'
In Kambakkth Ishq, you had established actors, Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor, and here you have newcomers…
It was challenging. For quite some time, Sajid Nadiadwala (producer) and I have wanted to nurture new talent. We wanted to do it when we had the right script.
Not only Tiger and Kriti, the whole cast and crew is new. It was a huge challenge to go every day on the sets and explain everything and give your energy to every single person.
But it was exciting. I really freaked out and enjoyed the whole process.
You recruited 21 new people for this film. Why was that necessary?
Once we had cast Tiger and Kriti, who were new, there were lots of other important roles in the film.
I could have easily gone for veteran actors to play their mom and dad and other characters, but I felt the film needed complete freshness.
Plus, I did not want the cast to be uneven - like some are pros and some are very new. So I got all new actors.
That energy is different altogether. Everybody helps each other. There is lot of bonding on the sets. In fact, my crew is also relatively new.
With established actors you get a good opening but with newcomers it is risky…
I know it is risky, but if we don’t give a chance to newcomers who will?
If people think it’s an interesting film, they will spread the news. If the film is bad even a superstar film doesn’t do well.
Did you analyse what went wrong with Kambakkht Ishq?
I took a long break to start my second film, to understand what went wrong with my first film.
I wanted to learn and unlearn what’s right and what’s wrong and how do I make myself a better filmmaker.
My producer says that Kambakkht Ishq is a big money spinner. Akshay tells me it is one of his favourite films.
I think what probably didn’t hit the mark is that we made the film to cater to Akshay Kumar’s huge fan following for comedy films. But may be people were saturated at that time.
Apart from that, I don’t know what went wrong.
You have worked with Sajid Nadiadwala for a long time. Haven’t you thought of venturing out?
I would say Sajid and Akshay are my mentors. After Mujhse Shaadi Karoge (he was the assistant on the film) they were the ones who pushed me into direction.
I make films at my pace. I am not in a race to make one film after another.
I am very comfortable here and if something interesting comes up I will explore it.
Image: Director Sabbir Khan, Kriti Sanon, Tiger Shroff