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My first Hindi film, Gardish, was a remake of the Malayalam film Kireedom directed by Priyadarsan. I have been art director for about 25 Priyadarsan films.

"For this film, I had to recreate Mumbai in Chennai. I had never lived in Mumbai, so I had to take extra care to make everything look authentic. I went to Mumbai with my camera, and came back with a lot of photographs.

"The climax in Gardish that was supposed to be taking place in Mumbai was shot in Chennai. After watching the film, it seems Amitabh Bachchan asked Priyadarsan, 'How did you shoot in Mahalaxmi [in south Mumbai]?' Apparently, he couldn't shoot the title portions of Don there. He couldn't believe it was a set. [Sabu Cyril later created the sets for the Miss World contest organised by Bachchan's production house ABCL in Bangalore in 1996].

"I won the Filmfare Award for Gardish.

"After that, I have recreated Mumbai many times in Chennai. Hera Pheri, for example, was shot entirely in Chennai."

Photograph: Jackie Shroff in Gardish.

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