June 29, 2010

A cliched thought with a twist

PUNIT MALHOTRA, Manish Malhotra’s nephew, takes guard as director this friday with the Imran-Sonam rom com

Two days to go before the world watches your first film. Excited or nervous?

Numb... numb... I feel numb. It’s kind of crazy because a lot of stuff is happening. I am looking at every day as a different workday and trying to distance myself from preview reactions. They are all good reactions. The idea is not to go mad and stay calm.

And to think you wanted to be a movie star and ended up becoming a director!

Yes, that’s correct. I did want to become an actor and I still do. I Hate Luv Storys was a subject I had written and I was very passionate about making it. I didn’t want someone else to direct my script. I was clear if it had to be made, I would make it. That’s pretty much it. And in the past one year I have given my all into this. Also, I have had the best year of my life. No matter how many ups and downs we have had, I don’t regret anything.

Did you write the script with Punit Malhotra in mind?

No, no, I wrote it with Imran in mind. And I still believe that there’s nobody better than him for the role of Jai in the film. His body language, the way he talks, his belief in cinema... he is just the correct person.

What about Sonam?

Not as much as Imran. Sonam came in midway during the scripting. It was Manish’s suggestion and I kept her in mind while writing the rest of the script. When I met Sonam, I was shocked how she fit the character like hand in glove. She was so perfect. So yes, I was lucky to get both my first choices.

The story of a guy who hates love stories falling in love with a girl who loves romantic movies...what’s your inspiration?

It’s actually a very cliched thought. Every hero in Hindi film tries to be the cool guy and say “I don’t believe in love” and every heroine is always mushy. I wanted to make that story with a twist to it. I wanted to throw the guy in a world where he has to like love stories.

What about you? Do you hate love stories?

I have grown up with them. I love them. I love Bollywood love stories. They are superb. It’s the best way to spend three hours. You always come out with a smile. Apart from that, if you are talking about reality, I don’t think it happens.

Is IHLS like the Karan Johar film of yore?

Ummm... It is a Karan Johar film done in a completely different way. It’s a little different from his world because it is mocking the kind of films he used to make. It’s a lot of him, it’s a lot of me, it’s a nice blend.

Will you now star in a KJo production or direct more films for him?

The idea is to first release IHLS, hope it does well, to follow that and then I don’t know what will happen. If I get a good role, why not? But there’s also another script I am working on. Whatever works out... but it has to be in the movies. That’s my first love. And I am even ready to become an assistant (to Karan Johar) again.