Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra doesn’t hesitate to admit that love, of late, has taken on a whole new meaning for him
Q. In your next film. Mirziya, you are attempting a romantic story for the first time. How challenging was it?
A. It's an intense love story and the writing is deep. Gulzar has written the story. It looks simple, but has many layers to it. It's a romantic drama and has high-octane action. I always wanted to do something like this. I think it is every filmmaker's dream to get into this territory (of romance). During the shoot, I rediscovered love. The whole journey was fascinating.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Q. When you talk about 'rediscovering love', does it mean that the definition of love has changed for you?
A. Yes, most certainly, and I don't hesitate to admit that. We have grown up with certain definitions of love and with this film, I have found a new one.
Q. How difficult was it working with newcomers, Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher?
A. Wasn't difficult at all. I worked with not just newcomers but a mix of actors belonging to different age groups. In any case, it's not a question of having an easy or difficult time; the script demanded new faces. I had read about the Mirza-Sahiban folklore during my college days and I used to wonder why Sahiban broke his arrows. So, I went to Gulzar for an answer and he said, 'Woh toh Sahiban hi jaanti hain', but then we sat together and discussed about it. Soon, we had a script in hand and I realised that the film cannot be made with established actors.
Q. You ran into a few hurdles during the shoot, especially when Harshvardhan fell off a horse and had to be hospitalised. How did it affect the schedule?
A. The film has high-octane action. He got injured and was down only for a couple of days. Even Saiyami sustained some injuries while riding a horse and was on rest for 2-3 days. But I had a fantastic crew and we completed the film in 86 days, which was incredible. Now, we are looking at a 2016 summer release, so it could be any time between May and July.
Q. So, the promotional campaign will ideally kick off in two or three months. What will be your marketing strategy considering you have newcomers as your film's lead pair?
A. I don't believe in going over the top for anything. For me, marketing and promotions are about creating awareness about a product, but subtly. I don't want to push a film down your throat with excess publicity but, to each his own. People should come to watch the film not on the basis of what I say, but what they feel about it.
Q. Will we see you directing more romantic films?
A. I have certain scripts that I am working on, but they are not out and out romantic. Some of them do have that essence.