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'Rakesh Bedi and Ravi Baswani were my roommates'

Though the director has had a rather bad phase at the box office recently, trust David Dhawan to be always full of life. With his latest film Chashme Baddoor all set to hit the marquee soon, the director speaks about overcoming his ill luck and looking forward to a new chapter in his career. 

David Dhawan
Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

You have managed to survive for over three decades in an industry where many directors have come and gone. How do you keep yourself updated?
My two sons (Rohit and Varun) are instrumental in that to a large extent. Kitne directors aaye aur chale gaye... When I came in 1976, my aim was to make films like Manmohan Desai. He was my guru. However I soon realised the importance of constantly updating myself. I make films that are entertaining...you can change everything but you cannot change entertainment. If I don’t change myself, the public will easily replace me. I know it is very difficult to survive.

You went through a very bad phase with your films flopping and Hook Ya Crook getting stuck...
Partner came in 2007 and was a big hit but after that I went through a very bad phase. But this is the industry and everyone goes through such times. When you are working with corporate houses, you don’t know what’s happening. Even Amitji’s (Bachchan) film is ready and stuck. I know that my film was very good but the producers did not release it. I even asked them to give me the film but they did not. I have forgotten about Hook Ya Crook and have moved on. I have made 40 films and one film won’t affect my career.

Why re-make Chashme Buddoor?
I was signed by the producers to make a film and I was working on a subject but I was not very happy with it. Then they said they had this film as they had already taken the rights. I was very excited, as the film was almost a part of my life. Rakesh Bedi and Ravi Baswani, the two actors in the original film were my roommates. We used to stay as paying guests in Santacruz (East). I took over the project and writer-duo Sajid-Farhan gave me the first half. That’s when I said I would make it. I based the film in Goa and made it very trendy and contemporary.

Was it difficult to cast actors for the film considering that the leads in the original film became icons?
To be very frank, apart from Farooque Shaikh and Deepti Naval, everyone was a newcomer and that’s exactly what I did. The hero had two kaminey friends and that’s what I retained in my film. I made the film very honestly and I did not think about the original film at all.

How much of the original have you retained?
I have retained around six to eight scenes from the original as I loved them and they can’t be changed.

You are making a film with your son next?
Yes, that’s a very selfish move on my part (laughs). The film has everything and I wanted to make it for my son Varun. Meanwhile, Rohit is making a film for Ramesh Taurani.  

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