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I rewrite the first draft after casting the actors: Kabir Khan

Says director Kabir Khan who believes in hiding his actors’ weaknesses and playing up their strengths

Kabir Khan, the director who has churned out hits such as New York, Ek Tha Tiger and Bajrangi Bhaijaan, is of the view that films rooted in reality need not be gloomy and boring.

On the contrary, if scripted right, they can be mass entertainers. Excerpts from an interview:

Kabir Khan

Q. In most of your films, international borders as well as politics play an important role...
A. What I try and do is to put real contexts as the backdrop to my mainstream films. Unfortunately, the whole spectrum of terrorism between the two countries (India and Pakistan) is so large that it invariably tends to become the background. But it's not that I decided six years back to make a trilogy on this. Now that its been pointed out, I will try and stay away.

Q. How much of time do you dedicate to writing?
A. You know when I say I will lock a script in a couple of months; it actually means that I will just lock an idea. The entire scripting process takes around six months. Some projects happen fast and some make you struggle. Every writer has his/her own pace.

Q. Do you write a role keeping an actor in mind?
A. It depends on the film. For Bajrangi Bhaijaan, I always had Nawazuddin Siddiqui in mind for the role of Chand Nawab. But I wasn’t sure if Salman Khan would want to do the film.

Q. Do you make changes in your script if a star insists on some?
A. For every single film, I send one draft to all the cast members. However, I rewrite the script once the cast is locked. I do this in order to play on the strengths of the individual actors and hide their weaknesses.

Q. Are you working on a film right now?
A. Right now I am in the process sieving through the ideas. I do have a story, but I need to work on it. I am currently taking a break since I have been slogging for the last two years.

Q. Are you planning to make documentaries now that you do not have a concrete idea for a feature film?
A. I keep saying this to myself every year. But, I have so far not managed to do it. Actually, documentaries are time-consuming -- a lot of research is required, which can take up to a year or more.

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