Has Vicky Donor’s success inspired you to make another film that educates and entertains at the same time?
We will definitely make something of that sort. We are planning a sequel to Vicky Donor which will focus more on the characters.
How would you describe your next film, Madras Cafe?
It is the complete opposite of Vicky Donor. Madras Cafe is a very serious and sensitive subject, a political spy thriller that talks about an intelligence officer. It isn’t very humourous. Funnily, in Vicky Donor, some moments which made people laugh were supposed to be serious.
Madras Cafe stars John Abraham, the producer of Vicky Donor. How do you rate him as an actor?
I will not comment on his earlier work. This film will be a complete transformation for John. As a producer, John never interferes; his job starts where my job ends.
Why didn’t you repeat Vicky Donor’s actors in this film, instead of choosing John and Narghis Fakhri?
John and I were already discussing Madras Cafe much before Vicky Donor. I wanted to do a film quickly and Juhi Chaturvedi (the writer) and I didn’t want to hold on to the Vicky Donor idea for long.
Madras Cafe promises a lot of debuts.
In all my films, somebody or the other makes a debut. Minissha Lamba made her debut in Yahaan. In Vicky Donor, almost everybody was a debutant. Siddharth Basu will make his debut in Shoebite — he couldn’t say no to me and he will be one of the contenders for the awards show next year. His performance is very competitive.
Speaking of Shoebite, this venture starring Amitabh Bachchan has been awaiting release for a really long time. Do you think this will affect the film?
The same thoughts came to me long ago, but this film is ageless. At the end of the day, it is a piece of hard work; if it remains in the cans, it will be disappointing. I have repeatedly asked UTV and FOX Star to clear the matter.
Despite Vicky Donor winning awards in several categories, you haven’t yet won an award for your direction. How do you explain this?
I don’t know. I see my win in the film’s success and appreciation. That was my first award. But receiving an award obviously makes one happy. I would have loved to receive an award for my direction. I don’t know the jury members, but they will regret their decision later. My film is so simple, yet completely out of the box.
But I believe veteran scriptwriter Salim Khan gave away one of his Filmfare trophies to you and writer Juhi Chaturvedi for Vicky Donor.
He had already given me the Filmfare from his collection. “Koi de na de main tumko yeh award de raha hoon,” he told us. I am glad he recognised our work in the first week of the film’s release.
Finally, would you say Hindi film scripts are getting better of late?
Now, the script is the film’s star. The only exception is Salman Khan.