Short Kut – The Con Is On releases today after a minor hassle around the title copyright issues. All is well that ends well though as this Anil Kapoor production has now hit the screens. Joginder Tuteja catches up with the man at the hot seat, Anil Kapoor, and asks him about his new role as a producer and what made him for go for casting Arshad Warsi as a wannabe turned superstar in the film.
How is the new role of a film producer treating you?
The way my acting career has been over the years, I have always been in the capacity of an actor and very rarely looked at the production affairs. On the other hand, as a producer I have more participation in how a project is shaped and look after the entire scale on which the film has been set. When I come on the sets of a film where I am just an actor, I am a thorough professional while staying within my boundaries. I don’t interfere in any other aspect of film making. However as a producer, I have the luxury to choose my director, actor, distributor etc. I make all the decisions that allows me to play multiple roles.
You started off with Gandhi My Father and have now moved on to Short Kut – The Con Is On. Was it a conscious decision to begin offbeat and then move into mainstream?
It all basically depends upon the material that I am getting. If I like a script which is really dramatic, I go for it. I look at it as whether the subject would make for a good film or a bad film. I don’t look at it as a commercial v/s non-commercial affair. This was the case with Gandhi My Father as well where I fell in love with the story and the script. Feroz Khan (the director) has been a friend and I have always admired his work as a theatre director. This is what made me go for Gandhi My Father and frankly I didn’t worry much around whether it would succeed at the box office or not.
What made you announce Short Kut – The Con Is On as your immediate next film?
Juts like in case of Gandhi My Father, in case of Short Kut – The Con Is On too it was the script that did all the talking. I loved the original Malayalam film and decided there and then that I had to make it. It is a story which is very mainstream and comes with huge entertainment potential. It will satiate the taste buds of movie buffs all over the world because such films cater to majority of segments of audiences. Moreover, I truly believed in the film’s concept and was sure that a refined treatment would make it a hit amongst the masses.
Akshaye (Khanna) and Arshad (Warsi) return after years. Time for some more ‘hulchul‘?
Frankly speaking I hadn’t seen Hulchul and had only caught the duo in trailers. They looked great together and I was comfortable having them on board since their roles are so opposite of each other in the film. Actually, both of them compliment each other; something you would realize once you see the film.
Time and again you have been heard appreciating your film’s cast.
That’s because it has indeed gone really well. In fact the best thing about Short Kut – The Con Is On is it’s casting. I am very proud of the people I have roped in because Akshaye, Arshad and Amrita have been just bang on. All of them are so correct and I can’t imagine anyone else playing these parts.
Apparently you were quite vocal about Arshad’s performance after watching Lagey Raho Munnabhai.
That’s right; I congratulated him soon after I saw the film.
What was it that went in favor of him being roped in as ‘Raju’ a.k.a. King Kumar in the film?
I just felt that I needed someone who had an image of basically someone who wasn’t a quintessential hero-hero. I wanted to have someone who wants to be a hero, someone who has the potential of becoming a hero one day. Of course Arshad’s trademark comic timing went in his favour too.
You just said that you didn’t want someone who was a hero in true sense. Why?
That’s plays Raju is someone who wants to be a hero! It’s the character that we had to sell because there have been only few character actors in the past who have become heroes. There have been exceptions but quite far and few. This is why if we had cast someone who was a conventional hero material; it would have gone against the essence of our film. I wanted someone who could not look like a conventional hero; someone who is a little odd and still desperate.
Arshad is also heard as saying that he is the ‘villain of the piece’ in the film?
Arrey nahi, he is a lovable rogue in the film. Terming him as ‘villain’ will be too harsh a word (laughs)!