Believe it or not but when the first actor was signed for Dishkiyaoon, it was for a paltry sum of Rs. 5000. And no, it wasn’t Harman Baweja who was given this royal treatment. Instead, it was the very talented Prashant Narayanan who was roped in for this sum and brought on board for an all important part of Mota Tony.
Remembers Sanamjit Talwar, debutant writer-director of the film, “That was back then in 2011 when I had first envisioned Dishkiyaoon as a 15 minutes short film. I needed an actor for this part of Mota Tony, which was quite prominent even in the short film. Since Prashant is a friend, I could just tell him that he had to be in my film. However, I didn’t have any money on me then but really wanted to shoot the film. Poor guy, he agreed and just said ki ‘Yaar, kuch toh paisa de kyunki even I don’t have money’. I said that ‘Chal, mere paas 5000 bucks hai so you keep this. That was the first signing amount for my film.”
With Prashant on board, he went along hunting for an actor to play the lead role of Vicky Kartoos. Harman Baweja gave his nod of approval, though insisting that Sanamjit make a full length feature film instead. Everything fell in place and rest, as they say, is history, what with Shilpa Shetty, Raj Kundra and Sunil Lulla coming on board.
“However Prashant place was intact in the film. His part too was further fleshed out in added detail to go with a two hour feature film,” says Sanamjit, “So now; Mota Tony’s part is all the more ‘mota’.”
As for the money part, there were a few more zeroes added to Rs. 5000 now. “Of course I let him keep that 5000 with him,” winks Sanamjit, “That’s my gratitude to him for being the first on my film.”
There were other interesting casting decisions made in the process of putting together this action-drama-thriller that has a gangster backdrop to it.
“Like for example this part of ‘Rocky Chu$ia’ is quite interesting too. I was facing some difficulty in getting just the right actor for the part. This is where my producer Shilpa Shetty suggested that I try out Anand Tiwari. To begin with I was shocked as he came across as someone so different from my imagination. Mujhe pehle laga nahi that woh character lag paayega. However, the way he has performed is so fabulous that today I feel no one else could have done it so brilliantly,” says Sanamjit about the youngster who was fabulous as one of the three leads in last year’s Go Goa Gone.
Incidentally, this was one of the only casting suggestion by Shilpa as right from Prashant to the main lead Harman Baweja, the actors were Sanamjit’s choice.
“There couldn’t have been a more hassle free set up as Shilpa just gave me a free hand,” says Sanamjit fondly, “She never asked me about the whys and the hows. She has been a fantastic producer.”