The sweet rom-com, Ishq Vishk (2003), completed 20 years on May 9. It also means that Shahid Kapoor has completed 20 years as a leading actor in the film industry. Ramesh Taurani, the producer of Ishq Vishk, went down memory lane as he spoke exclusively with Bollywood Hungama about the film, how Shahid, Amrita Rao and Shenaz Treasury were signed and a lot more.20 Years of Ishq Vishk EXCLUSIVE: “The film’s cost was Rs. 4.5 crores and we spent Rs. 4 crores on the promotion. We decided to go all out as we wanted to generate awareness and excitement for the product” – Ramesh Taurani
What made you back Ishq Vishk?
At that time, Ken Ghosh used to make a lot of music videos for our company (Tips Music). He desired to make a film and he met me to discuss some ideas. We met and he narrated his scripts. Those scripts required established actors and also they didn’t impress me much as they seemed to be routine plots. We were about to end the meeting when Ken asked for 5 more minutes as he had a fresh subject to narrate. This is when he narrated Ishq Vishk. I liked the idea and we decided to make the film.
Shahid Kapoor was in my mind. I had seen him in a song, ‘Aankhon Mein Tera Hi Chehra’. I met him after the song video was out. He asked me if we both can work together. I told him, ‘You are very good but you are very young now. Jaldi launch mat hona’. I also made it clear to him that I didn’t have any subject for him and promised to contact him if I came across a script that suited him. He kept in touch with me.
Then, one day, he told me that he has been offered Style (2022), which starred Sharman Joshi and Sahil Khan. I asked him to go ahead with it as N Chandra is an established filmmaker. He agreed. A week later, he told me that he has declined the film as it was a two-hero project.
I finally called him when we began work on Ishq Vishk. I introduced Ken to Shahid. Ken liked him but said that ‘Yeh thoda chota aur young lagta hai’. Shahid however worked on his body. Teen mahine mein Shahid ne apne aap ko ready kar liya.
And what about Amrita Rao and Shenaz Treasury?
We had already signed Amrita. We had seen her in the ad for Cadbury Perk and had decided that we want to work with her. As for Shenaz’s character, we auditioned a lot of girls. No one was fitting the bill. Shenaz at that time was a VJ at Channel V. She was apt for the role and we signed her for the film.
Ishq Vishk seemed like a well-mounted film. You went all out, including shooting in South Africa. For a film starring newcomers, wasn’t that a risky move?
No, because we were confident of the film’s story. The film’s cost was Rs. 4.5 crores and we spent Rs. 4 crores on the promotion. That was a very big amount then. But we decided to go all out as we wanted to generate awareness and excitement for the product.
Also, the songs helped in enhancing the hype…
Absolutely. Hamare songs hamesha hi acche hote hai! We work very hard on the music and it’s something we follow even today.
Did you visit cinema halls to check the audience's reaction?
We had gone to catch the 6 pm show at Liberty Cinema in Mumbai on the day of release. Shahid was also present and nobody reacted to his presence. But in the interval, he was mobbed! It became clear that this boy had become a star.
You and Shahid Kapoor have worked in 4 films till now. Any plans to do another film with him?
We are in constant touch. If we come across an ideal subject, we’d definitely work together.
You are currently making Ishq Vishk 2. When will it release?
We haven’t finalized the release date. 2-3 days of shoot is still pending. It has shaped very well. We were lucky ki iss film ke liye humein ek bahut acchi story mil gayi.
Lastly, what’s the status of your film Merry Christmas, starring Vijay Sethupathi and Katrina Kaif?
It’ll release this year for sure. We need to finalize the date for this film as well. Within a week, we’ll lock the release date.
More Pages: Ishq Vishk Box Office Collection , Ishq Vishk Movie Review
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