“Shah Rukh Khan Is The Most Underused Actor In The World”
What’s keeping you busy these days?
Fan, of course. Fan is such a huge film that I have had time for nothing else. I haven’t even thought of what I will do after the film releases. These last few days of final touches and promotions have been absolutely crazy.
What excites you the most?
Film-making is a confluence of different talents and various art forms. By default, film is an all-encapsulating experience. You can think of any art form and it has a place in film-making. That really excites me.
What is the driving force in your life?
This has a lot to do with my theatre background, but I like the fact that a lot of people get together to make a film. The whole idea of a team, a crew working together, sharing ideas and inputs is what gets me going. Even with my first film [Band Baaja Baarat], all of us were novices and we just wanted to make whatever came naturally to us. More than what kind of film we were making, it was the fantastic team effort that worked for me.
Film or theatre: which would you pick?
Film and theatre are very different from each other. While one is a live performance with a contained audience, film has wider reach. The staging of film and theatre is different, as is the interpretation of the text. But, the way I have dealt with my actors in both the mediums has not been different.
How do you decide on the subjects for your films?
I have written the stories of some of them and hence, they are a reflection of me and my mindset. So the interest of exploring that has come from within me. The ones I didn’t write, it is my interpretation of what the writers are talking about. They are not exactly conscious decisions, but stories I want to tell at that given point.
When did you decide to become a film-maker?
I think I was 13-14 years old. I come from a family of academics, but some of the films that left an impression were Darr, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, amongst others. And Shah Rukh Khan was an enigma back then. Coincidentally, I even went to the same college and same theatre group as he had attended.
Share one of your favourite memories with us.
I remember after the script of Fan was ready, I had to go to meet Shah Rukh at Mannat. When I landed up, I realised that he had already read the script and had a bunch of ideas in his head. He suddenly got up and did seven different body languages for his character. I was mind blown. He had his homework in place, which is something I don’t want to glorify, because this is how it should be. Then, he sat down and took notes while we were discussing the script. Honestly, Shah Rukh is the most untapped actor in the world.