If there is one actor who has continued to make smart choices when it comes to his acting assignments over the last three decades, it is Anil Kapoor. Following the adage of ‘character comes first and then the billing as a lead or supporting hero’, Anil Kapoor has literally seen it and done all. Still, one can’t miss the vigour in him when it comes to his love for movies, whether in front of behind the camera. On the eve of release of No Problem, a film that sees him playing the dual role of an actor as well as a producer, Anil Kapoor gets chatting with Joginder Tuteja.
It is good to see the momentum building up in a gradual manner, especially over last couple of weeks since the new promos came out and ‘Mast Punjabi‘ turned into a hit song.
I am not surprised with that. This was always a part of the strategy to break newer promos on screen every week and then unveil some of the terrific songs that we had in our kitty. We just wanted to build the hype in a gradual manner and the strategy worked for us.
Anees Bazmee has got two of his biggest successes with you – No Entry and Welcome. Looking at No Problem, can one safely assume that there is a hat trick on the anvil?
You can say so (smiles). Anees is someone who knows the pulse of the audience. His writing is pretty identifiable with the masses and anybody can relate to it. The kind of comedy that he incorporates into his films, it is always situational and never gets into the zone of buffoonery. His films are primarily character driven which further ensures that there is a great repeat value to them.
Anees is someone who knows the pulse of the audience
While you say that he knows the pulse of the audience, what is it about Bazmee’s films that you think connects with the audience and makes them such huge money spinners?
Most importantly, even though his films are comedies, they are not crass, vulgar or carry any double meaning dialogues. He makes films for family viewing and knows what works on pan India level. Also, his films are such which work all over, whether it is single screens, multiplexes, overseas or satellite.
Since you are the film’s producer, can one safely assume that you were the obvious choice for being the central protagonist here?
That’s not true. I will tell you what happened exactly. Anees had the script and he narrated that to me in the capacity of just an actor. At that time, the film was being produced by T-Series. However, for some reasons, I think they didn’t find it commercially viable. They were unable to put the rest of the cast together. However, by that time I had said yes to the film as an actor. The character of Arjun Singh was something that I wanted to play. However, when T-Series and Anees couldn’t proceed on the film together, I pitched in as a producer. So next, I was an actor first and then a producer on No Problem.
The film was launched somewhere in the middle of last year. Hasn’t the release been delayed a little?
I think that’s the way studios operate all over the world. They make the film and then wait for the timing. We could have released the film on Eid but then Sohail (Khan) spoke to me and mentioned about their plans for Dabangg. I was okay to move No Problem further ahead. We then thought of 3rd December but then PVR requested me to arrive a week later since they had plans for their own production Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey on the same date. Maine socha humko kya faraq padta hai, let me push the film ahead by a week more.
But there were so many weeks between Eid and now as well?
Yes, we did think about that as well. However, we wanted to space out No Problem from Golmaal 3 as it too belonged to the comic genre. I knew it would be a huge success; after all it is a global phenomenon that fun movies do much better than other genres. I wanted audience to wait for a fun outing once more after Golmaal 3 and it worked for as there were three relatively serious films like Guzaarish, Break Ke Baad and Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se in the interim.
However, now you have head-to-head competition with another fun outing, Band Bajaa Baaraat, which actually announced its release date much after you had finalised 10th December as the D-day.
Really, I had no clue that Yash Raj Films were actually bringing Band Baaja Baaraat on the same day. But then it is fine, there is no issue with that. The subject of both the films is totally different. Also, two movies can do quite well despite releasing on the same day.
Talking about films doing well, in 2010 we have seen how big films like Guzaarish, Kites and Raavan have failed due to a huge price tag. How has No Problem ensured that all its ends are covered?
Ours is a very reasonably priced film. No one is over priced and every penny has gone into the actual making of the film. I am getting wonderful feedback for the film and distributors tell me that they are feeling safe. In case of No Problem, everyone has got what they rightly deserved. There is no scam here where it is just the cast and the director who have taken maximum money home while not much has been spent on the actual making.