I feel shy and awkward: Milan Luthria

Vidya Balan created a sensation with The Dirty Picture. Are you confident that Sonakshi Sinha too will be known for her acting prowess after Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobaara (OUATIMD)?
Sonakshi’s talent has zapped me. There could have been a vacuum after having worked with Vidya, but there wasn’t. Sonakshi is playing a Muslim girl and we have worked hard to change her look. Also, people will take notice of Sonakshi the actor; she plays a pivotal role in the film.

Milan Luthria feels classics are best left untouched

Akshay Kumar and Imran Khan also have interesting roles?
When a hero turns villain a la Akshay, there is a lot of glory. But you will have to watch out for Imran, he has surprised all of us and held his own. I personally feel that these actors have given their best performance till date.

Why did you choose to make a sequel?
There’s a loyalty to this brand — there has been a positive buzz about the film on social networking sites. The sequel is a romantic triangle, unlike the prequel which was about power struggle, so families will connect better with it.

Which is your favourite film with a love triangle?
Muqaddar Ka Sikandar is a classic. It is similar to this film … one can admire a classic and do something on the similar lines.

So no remakes from your end?
No. I’ll just let them be. Classics are best untouched.

Yet, you have remixed hit 1970s songs like ‘Duniya mein’ in OUATIM and now ‘Tayyab Ali’ in the sequel.
If you can find a song to match the situation in your film, why not? There's no pattern. It does have a better connect with the audience and we pay a lot of money for it. It connected well the last time, so we are keeping our fingers crossed
this time.

Buzz is that Kareena Kapoor was originally offered Sonakshi’s role.
Not really. I have never met her officially for the film but Ekta and Kareena were in talks about such a possibility at a nascent stage. As the script evolved, we realised we needed a different kind of actor. I would love to work with Kareena, but it didn't look correct this time. And she was okay with it.

People have finally noticed Milan Luthria. How has life changed?
I sense that people now give me importance. It is a very unnerving feeling. It makes me want to be as unrecognizable as possible. On the professional front, people take my word as the law which is scary because filmmaking is a collaborative medium. I feel shy and awkward. I prefer interacting with non-film people; I can talk about other things with them. I don’t know too many people in the industry.

It is a tricky wicket. The more you accomplish, the more you fear losing it all. You start trying harder and thinking too much. But this is all conjecture — one has undergone many different phases of his career and this too is a phase to be experienced and made the most of.

Your films have very heavy subjects. Do you aspire to make lighter films now?
For a gangster film, OUATIMD is very funny; it has a lot of humour. And even Sholay, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar and Deewar were dark. So there is no need to shy away from drama. We are a very dramatic country. We enjoy darkness as much as brightness. A very happy film will be very boring for
the viewers.

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