He is indisputably correct about his name, his looks and his financial state, and most critics wholeheartedly agree with him about his talent. He is doing plenty of things right, because his films almost always make money and his demographic is golden: his fans range from ages 10 to 30 to 60, he has a surprisingly large female following and he is a cult figure on college campuses. Meet the man who brings the ‘House’ down with his funny and mad gags and sometimes even! Here’s an individual who’s stayed young and silly. I present you Sajid Khan. Actually, it’ll take an entire homepage of Bollywood Hungama to explain Sajid Khan. So I’m trying to trim it down. Trying to trim Sajid down? Na! Now for once, he just can’t sit straight, and this time he’s doubling it up in every department – his actors, his writing, his marketing, you name it. It’s called Housefull 2. The film is just about to start its shoot anytime soon. But all this might sound fun. Talking to Sajid makes you wonder how serious he is and by the end of the interview you start to ask the question again: ‘Was he?’ But the thing you get most of all from Sajid is the strange cocktail of yearning, vulnerability and vicious honest confessions, come what may, and that’s where I come in. UK’s Harrow Observer columnist and Bollywood Hungama‘s London correspondent gets everything out of Sajid Khan, barring his humour. Hasn’t he saved it for Housefull 2? You bet!
“Housefull 2 promises a fresh brand new story and a brand new episode”
I think the word ‘sequel’ is wrong if you are using it for Housefull 2. Let’s get the terminology correct. Housefull 2 is another film in the Housefull franchise. It is a brand but not a sequel. Sequel tells the story of what happened later. Housefull 2 is a completely new script and a new story. Lord of the Rings Part 2 and 3 are sequels. Star Wars Part 2,3,4,5 are sequels but James Bond movies are not sequels. Housefull 2 promises a fresh brand new story and a brand new episode. The only sequel which India has ever had is Krrish because it took forward the story.
“I will always make films that I want to watch”
Housefull 2 could’ve been a sequel, why not? For any sequel to work, we need to look into a lot of things besides the star cast and all. We need to find out what is it that worked in the first one and what is it that people liked. I will always make films that I want to watch. I want to watch films which large scale mainstream audiences watch worldwide because I make it only from the audience’s point of view. I don’t make films from the critic’s point of view nor do I make it from getting recognition as an acclaimed filmmaker. I’d rather be known as a blockbuster super hit filmmaker.
“Housefull 2 is one of the toughest screenplays to write”
Housefull had a great screenplay but also had a lot of gags. Housefull 2 does have a share of few gags but the screenplay is much better. It allows variety of different characters in the film. There’s Akshay Kumar, Riteish Deshmukh, Rahul Khanna, Asin, Jaqueline, Shazahn, Mithunda, Rishi Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor, Boman Irani, Chunky Pandey, etc. Everybody has got a superb part. Housefull 2 is a story idea developed by Sajid Nadiadwala. I’m working with Sajid Nadiadwala because he is my best friend. We both know each other inside out and we both know what we both laugh at. He has a great sense of stories. Sajid and Farhad who’ve written the screenplay for Golmaal 3 too have worked on Housefull 2. We’ve been doing this film since November last year. If you see Housefull 2, you will come out saying it was one of the toughest screenplays to write.
“If I wasn’t the director of Housefull 2, I would’ve loved to play one of the parts in it”
All the actors are there because they’ve got great parts written for them. If I wasn’t the director of Housefull 2, I would’ve loved to play one of the parts in it. Akshay and Riteish have asked me from time to time the same question – ‘Why don’t you do a role in the film?’ I was really tempted to do the role of ‘Aakhri Pasta’ that Chunky Pandey played in Housefull. But I would not like my audience to disconnect with what they are watching on screen. Suddenly they see the filmmaker Sajid Khan. Honestly, I am a very bad actor too (laughs).
“There is no such thing as a ‘trend’ in Bollywood. We just like to believe there is”
There have been really fine comedians whose movies haven’t worked at the box office irrespective of their great comic performances. At the same time there have been main lead actors doing comedy and their films haven’t worked too. There isn’t any formula. If the film is entertaining, it does well at the box office. No entertaining film will ever fail at the box office. It’s as simple as that. There is no such thing as a ‘trend’ in Bollywood. We like to believe there is. We feel that 3D is the new thing so let’s make a 3D film. A non entertaining film doesn’t work but an entertaining film works, irrespective of the genre.
“I don’t think I will ever be able to make a flop film”
It is extremely important to market your films correctly and spread the awareness, while you are shooting, before its release and post theatrical release. Movies like Housefull and Housefull 2 are big budget films and we don’t want to take a chance. The shelf life of a film inside the theatre cannot be more than eight weeks because of piracy, downloads, etc. Having said that, in the days when we have IPL, World Cup, television, we have to market our film in such a way that we make our audiences get out of their house and watch our films. I don’t think I will ever be able to make a flop film.
“I would love to make a small budget film as long as it’s an entertaining film”
I would love to make a small budget film as long as it’s an entertaining film. There’s absolutely nothing wrong in that. The question is ‘What are you making?’ There are so many films that claim to be entertaining and get four star reviews and are dismissed at the box office and that’s the fact. I can give you an example of small budget films that are entertaining and have done extremely well at the box office. A Wednesday is a shining example and it is one of my favourite films. I never thought that I was seeing a small budget film because I was seeing an entertaining film. Paranormal Activity was shot in some 3,000 US $. People don’t care what the budget of the film is and if that was the case, every big budget film would’ve worked and every small budget film would’ve failed. People want to go and have a good time.
“Sajid Nadiadwala is a marketing genius”
Housefull 2 is a damn good script and that’s the only reason why we decided to go ahead with the film. Everything that people liked in my Housefull, they will get that in abundance in Housefull 2 and will get much more. Sajid Nadiadwala is a marketing genius. If you look at all his films that his company has made, they’ve all done exceptionally well in marketing and attracting the worldwide audience. I too make sure that my actors are always together and are marketing the film together.
“I’d like to work with Salman Khan, why not?”
Actors do not survive. It’s the films that survive. I’d also like to add that actors never fail. It’s the films that fail. It’s as simple as that. An actor becomes a superstar because of his films that have worked. Salman, Shah Rukh, Akshay, Aamir, all have given duds at the box office but time and time again they’ve come up with bigger hits over the years. I’d like to work with Salman Khan, why not? I am here to make one film at a time, do my television, enjoy my fight and arguments with my writers, my friends, etc. I love doing that. I love writing and rewriting and rewriting and that’s the only way possible to make a big film. If it’s not going to be on the page, it’ll never come across on the stage.