rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Movies » 'Salman is the number 1 hero in Bollywood'

'Salman is the number 1 hero in Bollywood'

Last updated on: August 29, 2011 15:44 IST

'Salman is the number 1 hero in Bollywood'

     Next

Next
Patcy N in Mumbai

Malayalam and Tamil film director-writer Siddique makes his debut in Hindi films with Bodyguard, starring Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor. It's a hat-trick of sorts for Siddique, who has made the same film in Malayalam and Tamil as well.  

He tells Patcy N what it's like creating the same film three times, and working with one of Bollywood's hottest properties, Salman Khan.

You have done so many films in Malayalam and Tamil, how did a Bollywood film happen to you?

I have been getting lots of offers from the Bollywood film industry but I was not comfortable with the people who approached me and the subject that I was offered. My friend Nirupa Menon, who is also a close friend of Alvira Khan (Salman Khan's sister), kept urging me to make a Hindi film but I kept making excuses. When I wrote the story of Bodyguard, I told her I had got a subject for a Hindi film but first I will make it in Malayalam with Dileep and Nayantara. I put a clause that if Salman is ready to do this film, then I will direct my first Hindi film.

Nirupa and Atul Agnihotri (Alvira's husband) saw the Malayalam movie before it was released, liked it very much and asked for a copy with subtitles to show Salman Khan. Salman called from Nirupa's mobile and said, "this is a very good movie and I will do it but you have to direct the film." That is Salman, he is always direct he had no discussion, nothing, he just decided at that moment.

Why did you ask for Salman Khan in this film?

In those days, I did not know much about Bollywood films and actors. I knew about Salman but I did not know that he, Alvira and Atul Agnihotri are related. I just knew that this character was perfect for Salman.


Image: Salman Khan and Siddique

     Next

'I am bored doing the same film three times'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

You are planning to make a Telugu remake of this film too. What is the novelty in making the same film in four languages?

I am not doing a Telugu version now. I am bored doing the same subject three times and can't imagine myself making it a fourth time.

The thrill of making the film in three languages is that I am improving it in every version. The Malayalam version was very simple, if you watch the Tamil version, it is more entertaining -- the Hindi version is again different. The original content is there the comeback film of Vijay, it was a huge hit. The, the basic story is the same, but the way of narration is very different and the character of the hero is very different.

Did Salman throw any tantrums during the shooting or were there any time issues?

Salman has his own timings and he will come sharp at his timings. If he says he will come at 11, he will be there sharp at 11. He tells us in advance and we can plan accordingly. There were no misunderstandings. I am very happy working with him.

He is very jovial person, but above all, he is very passionate, he is hardworking he is always thinking about the character that he is playing and the subject of the film, about how he can better his character, about how he will make a difference from other movies. It is very good if an artist is like that, I am happy about all this.

Did people warn you about working with Salman, about what you should expect?

So many people told me he will not come on time. I heard a lot of other things too. But whenever Salman comes, he is very fast and very hard working. Even if he comes at 2pm, he will finish the targeted work very fast. He is very dedicated and will not leave the set or go to his vanity van. So, he is often late but he finishes the job. He is very confident about himself.


Image: A still from Bodyguard

Prev     Next

'Kareena came up with her own style for her charecter'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

What was it like working with Kareena Kapoor?

Kareena is a wonderful actress and very passionate about her work. She is not like any Bollywood star, she is simple and hardworking. There are lots of changes in Salman's character (in the Hindi version) but there is no change in Kareena's character. It was very challenging for her because both Asin (who played the role in the Tamil version, Kaavalan) and Nayantara (who played the role in the Malayalam version) have done a very good job. Kareena watched both the versions and came up with her own style.

What changes did you make in the script for the Hindi version?

Dileep, who played the main role in the Malayalam version, is known as a comedy hero, so the character was developed to suit that. In Tamil, Vijay, a superstar in Tamil films, is known as a romantic hero, so I made his character as per his image.

Salman is a macho hero and the number one star in Bollywood so I had to maintain that stardom. One major change I made was that in both Malayalam and Tamil the hero is a college dropout and rejoins college to give protection to the heroine.

Salman is not a student, he is a bodyguard by profession, and comes to the college in that capacity. He is a very dedicated bodyguard, serious and straightforward and will never deviate from his duty, and the interesting part is that such a character falls in love, and that is a change from both the Tamil and Malayalam versions.


Image: A still from Bodyguard

Prev     Next

'Timing and discipline are the major difference between Bollywood and South films'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

What are the major differences in working in the south Indian film industry and Bollywood?

Major difference is the budget. When we released Bodyguard in Malayalam, we released it in 100 theatres. In Hindi, we are releasing it in 2,700 screens, as it is an all-India release.

Another major difference is timing and discipline. There is discipline here, but in the South our starting time is 7 am and we end the shoot at 6 pm. No one works after that. If it is an afternoon shoot, work will be from 2 pm to 9 pm, for a night shoot from 6 pm to 2 am. I think that is a better style of working because the actor's face is fresh and we get good light for shooting and photography.

In Bollywood, they begin the shoot at 11 and continue working. Other than that, there is no problem with the industry.

Many of your films have been remade in Bollywood -- Ramji Rao Speaking was made into Hera Pheri, In Harihar Nagar into Dhol, Mannar Mathai Speaking into Bhagam Bhag, Godfather into Hulchul.  Does that upset you? Why didn't you think of making them yourself?

Priyadarshan (who has made most of these films) always buys the rights for the films. Only one film, Bhagam Bhaag faced litigation. I was not ready to do Hindi films and I am not upset that Priyan made it; in fact, I am happy.


Image: A still from Bodyguard

Prev     Next

'I have always written the stories of all my films'

Prev     More
Prev

More

You started off directing movies with Lal and did five films with him. Why did you part ways?

We worked together for six years, and though we separated, we are good friends. Lal is a producer, distributor and an actor now. In fact, the first film that I directed after separating from him was produced by him (Hitler). I stuck to direction and writing. There is no misunderstanding or quarrels between us. We are good friends and we will be like this till the end of our lives

Will you do more films in Bollywood now, and write the script as you do in the South?

I have some commitments down south but if I get good offers and good subjects here, I will do film here. And, yes, I will write the story. I have always done all the stories of all my films. I should be the first man to know all about the film and its characters so it has to be written by me.


Image: A still from Bodyguard

Prev     More