This was one Highway drive that not just resulted in a movie being made but also some bonding between director Imtiaz Ali and Randeep Hooda. While it was pretty much expected that the actor would give a fine performance in front of the camera in a part that seems to be tailor-made for him, it was also his expertise behind the wheels that added on to the brownie points.
Recollects a unit member, “Randeep is very fond of driving and since the film takes a road trip up North, Randeep made sure that he makes the best of it. So right through the shooting of Highway, he would ask the driver to take a backseat and let him ride the vehicle. Soon Imtiaz joined as well. In quick time, the unit had a gala time to see the two men actually drive us through varied terrains.”
As a matter of fact when it comes to the tempo which is used prominently in the film, it was actually Randeep who was driving it for the most duration.
“That’s right,” informs Imtiaz, “Instead of sitting in his chauffer driven car; he would step into the tempo and take it out on a highway drive. The longest trip that he took once was in Rajasthan where he drove non-stop for 200 kilometers. You had to see the joy on his face while he was driving. He was child like then and didn’t allow anyone else to take the wheels.”
Meanwhile Imtiaz too made sure that when it came to calling the shots during this road movie, he took over controls when a sequence on the move had to be captured.
“This is something that I have done for all my movies,” reveals Imtiaz, “When a camera is inside the car, I am the one who usually drives. I have a sense of what to expect and hence can correct an actor there and then while the action is on. Then I also keep a fair idea of natural lights or pause or slow down at a good location. I did that during Rockstar and Jab We Met too. Of course when I was not shooting, it was Randeep who insisted on driving. I didn’t mind as that gave me some resting time too.”
No wonder, those in the unit are insisting that during the credit rolls of Highway, Imtiaz is tagged as ‘Driven and Directed by’!