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Prabhu Deva: I get very tensed before the release of my films

Last updated on: June 26, 2013 18:05 IST

Prabhu Deva: I get very tensed before the release of my films

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Patcy N in Mumbai
Prabhu Deva, who has directed some of Bollywood's biggest superstars Salman Khan (Wanted) and Akshay Kumar (Rowdy Rathore) to terrific success.
 
Now, in his latest film Ramaiya Vastavaiya, he turns his attention to debutant Girish Kumar, the son of the owner of Tips Industries, Kumar S Taurani. The film also stars Shruti Haasan.
 
Prabhu Deva chats with Patcy N, and tells her what it's like working with superstars as well as new talent, and why dancing remains his first love.

Ramaiya Vastavaiya is a remake of your first Telugu film, Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana (2005). Why did you think of making it now?

Like Rowdy Rathore or Wanted, this film is also a mass entertainer but with more romance.

I did not think of making the film; the producer thought of it. He saw the film, bought the rights and after a few months, signed me up.

He told me he had bought the rights of some Telugu film -- he didn't know the name -- and gave me the DVD. You will love it, he told me.

He did not know that I had directed the film!
 
When I told him, he was shocked.

What changes have you made?

Emotions are still the same. Every Indian father and mother is the same. It is not set in America where the emotions would be different. We have made small changes here and there, as required to adapt to Hindi sensibilities.

The songs have been changed completely.

Image: Girish Kumar and Shruti Haasan in Ramaiya Vastavaiya


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'Girish is a new actor, so we thought all the other actors should be well known'

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There was a one-and-a-half year training period for Girish Kumar?
 
I did not know Girish at all. I told him that to do Hindi films, he doesn't need to go abroad and study. He just needs to know Bollywood dancing.

So for the next 18 months, he just danced. I told a choreographer friend of mine to make him dance, so he will be at ease.

Ramaiya Vastavaiya is all about song and dance. If we take out the songs, the story has no point. We are telling the story through songs.

How much has Girish improved as an actor?
 
We shot the second half of the film first. The second half requires a green village, so we shot in August and September. In the second half, Girish had to be raw and new and he gave that kind of performance.
 
In the first half of the film, which we shot later, he had to look suave and give a good performance. By then, he was polished and perfect.

How did Shruti Haasan come on board?
 
Girish is a new actor, so we thought all the other actors should be well known so we could concentrate on Girish. 

Image: Prabhu Deva and Jacqueline Fernandez in Ramaiya Vastavaiya


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'Salman Khan is a super-duper star'

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You have made your mark in Bollywood as an action director with Wanted and Rowdy Rathore. Will audiences accept a romantic film from you?
 
I am more of a dancer as I am a choreographer first. So, I relate more to romantic films. But people have accepted me as an action film director.
 
We have done hard work and good team work. The producer is happy. Now it is for the audience to decide.
 
How different is it working with stars like Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar and newcomers?
 
Definitely, there is a difference between working with a superstar and a newcomer. I am happy to work with both.
 
When we work with superstars, the expectation is more. As a director I have to work with every type of actor and each has his own style.
 
Salman was going through a rough patch before Wanted. You revived his career. Do you give yourself credit for that?
 
No, he is a super-duper star. It happens sometimes that your films don't do well. Ups and down is part of life.
 
Even if someone else had directed him, he would have been a hit.

Image: Shruti Haasan in Ramaiya Vastavaiya


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'Direction is tough and time consuming'

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What are the other projects that you are doing?
 
I am doing an action film, starring Salman Khan. People want Salman sir to do action only.
 
Then there is Rambo Rajkumar with Shahid. I have a film with Ajay Devgn which will go on the floors this year.
 
You have made remakes in Bollywood. Don't you want to do an original film? 

Rambo Rajkumar is a new script.
 
Prabhu Deva as choreographer or film director? what will you choose?
 
Choreographer always. 

Direction is tough and time consuming. I am known for my dancing only so I will take dancing first any day.
 
You are also an actor. Have you not thought of casting yourself in your film?
 
I can't in my movie because in my movie only big actors can act (laughs).
 
I don't want tension -- it is too much tension to do both. I show my face on the screen for a few minutes in my films. In this film I have a proper dance in the song Jadu Ki Jhapi.

Image: Girish Kumar in Ramaiya Vastavaiya


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'When I am nervous, I become silent'

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You have difficulty speaking Hindi so how do you direct a Hindi film?
 
Girish Kumar intervenes: He knows every single line of the script. He can speak Hindi but he is not very fluent in it. He explains the scenes a bit in Hindi and English so there is no problem.
 
What is the difference in directing a south film and Bollywood film?
 
Even directing a film in two south Indian languages is different. If I am doing a Tamil film or a Telugu film, the actor, the team, the working style are all different.
 
What about time and discipline with actors like Salman Khan?
 
Salman sir doesn't come very late. If he does, he waits till very late at night. 

Salman has so many releases. If he comes late, how will he finish so many films?
 
Do you get tense on Fridays when your film is due to release? How do you deal with it?
 
I get very tense. How to deal with it? I have no idea.
 
As soon as  the shooting and editing is finished, I start getting nervous because I know it will release soon and people will watch it. 

When I am nervous I become silent.
 
Are you media conscious, you don't talk too much?
 
What to talk? I am done talking.

Image: Girish Kumar and Shruti Haasan in Ramaiya Vastavaiya


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