In an industry where the Chopra name has reigned for over three decades, another Chopra is ready to take the plunge into Bollywood. Making his directorial and production debut with Maazii slated for release on September 27, Jaideep Chopra talks to us about his film and his journey so far.
So many Chopras have left their mark in the Indian film industry. How does it feel to have such big boots to fill?
(Laughs) While I bear no relation to any other Chopra in the industry, it is my dream to leave my mark in Indian cinema, and I will work hard to live up to the legacy of this name.
With budgets of big banner films ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 60 crore, how do you think a small film can fare?
A film cannot be judged by its budget. At the end of the day, the audience does not care how much money has been spent in making a film. Their sole concern is whether or not the film entertained them. True, a bigger budget can get you the top stars in the industry, but there are so many other talented people in the industry who have great potential. The main lead, Sumit Nijhawan, has already worked in more than 10 films like Contract, Phas Gaye Re Obama, Jannat 2, etc, and Mona Wasu, the female lead is already a known face on television. Four of my actors are from the National School of Drama Pankaj Tripathi, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, Zakir Hussain and Ashok Banthia. Maazii is a content-driven film with a captivating script and I hope the audience will like it and make it ‘big’. (Smiles)
As a newbie in this industry, what are the challenges you faced while making this film?
When you are working with the right people, overcoming challenges is easy. Luckily, my actors, technicians and in fact, even the crowd at the shooting locations were very supportive. I remember when we were shooting near the Ghanta Ghar market in Meerut we were worried about shooting in such a crowded location. Imagine my surprise when volunteers from the crowd started controlling the spectators, without even being told, ensuring that we were able to complete the shoot before time. Also, my producer partner, Narendra Singh of FilmyBox, has given me great support. This film has been a great learning experience for me and I thoroughly enjoyed making it.