'Rs 150 crore is not impossible'

As the calendar inches towards Fridays, Bollywood at large becomes tense. After all, vast figures are at stake, as most makers choose this day to release their films.

And one would expect producers worrying the most. Sajid Nadiadwala is no different. But what sets him apart is his unassailable belief in his success record. We caught up with him to understand his philosophy behind filmmaking and talk about his upcoming projects.

Did you always want to be a producer?
No, I wanted to be an actor.

What happened then?
I was very camera-shy, so it didn’t work out! Then I had an option to be a director but eventually, I ended up as a producer. I’ve been here for 25 years now. I love writing and making films. What started as a hobby ultimately turned into my profession. 

You’ve worked with Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan in a majority of your movies. How is your equation with them?
I share a warm relationship with both. Having been in the same school, I know Akshay since our Don Bosco days. We started our career around the same time. As a result, it’s easy to work with him. Salman is an old friend and a great human being. He’s more like a family, given the years we’ve known each other.

Housefull did great business. Do you expect the same for Housefull 2 too?
We made Rs 75 crore worldwide then. We are aiming for its double now. I think Rs 150 crore is not an impossible number.

Even though it’s releasing with IPL around the corner?
I’m confident. IPL happens every year, whereas a Housefull happens once every two years! (laughs)

As of today, what is your biggest challenge?
The constant need to update myself with the latest trend. I can’t afford to be left behind. Like the cliché goes, people put their money where their mouths are. Taste changes. They’ll rather wait for reviews before paying for the tickets. The youth doesn’t know what they want while the older generation remains stuck in the past. But the basic concept of entertainment remains the same — demand and supply — and that won’t change. In fact, I even learn a lot about ongoing fads from my kids.

Does that mean sequels are part of a trend?
The whole idea of having a franchise definitely is.

That’s why you’re making Judwaa again?
Certainly. We don’t see many movies with twin characters like Ram and Shyam or Seeta and Geeta like we once used to, do we?

So why not cast Salman in the same role again?
It’d have been repetitive, hence I decided to go with Saif (Ali Khan).

What’s your success mantra?
I only make those films that I would love to watch.

Is that why you don’t experiment with offbeat cinema?
Sort of...I love watching movies as I’m a huge movie buff but I won’t venture into territories I’m not familiar with. If I do that, I’ll fall flat on my face. People should do what they are really good at. Anyway, the industry has enough space for a Housefull and a Kahaani to co-exist.  

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