After helming two thought-provoking films- Aamir and No One Killed Jessica, why did delve into the comic space with Ghanchakkar?
I find it satisfying and challenging to explore different genres. No One Killed Jessica (NOKJ) was very different from Aamir, and Ghanchakkar is different from my previous two films. As a filmmaker, I look for stories that interest me -- be it inspiring stories like NOJK or fictionalised real-life like Aamir. When I got Ghanchakkar’s story from writer Parvez Sheikh, I thought it was a quirky story, a space I wanted to explore.
Vidya Balan is known more as an intense actor; and so is Emraan Hashmi. How did you think of them in comic roles?
The comedy in the film is not in-your-face, it is very situational; and they were just right for these characters. You will see Vidya and Emraan in a different avatar from their previous work, as the film has a dissimilar approach. They have brilliantly exceeded my expectations and the script’s requirements.
Wasn’t Abhishek Bachchan supposed to do Ghanchakkar?
His name was considered but he was never approached. When we started the casting process, Emraan was in our minds.
What makes Emraan right for this film?
The lead character has a certain mysterious aura about him. You don’t know whether to take him at face value or not. In real life, the same can be said about Emraan; there’s a certain mystery about him. His character is very close to what he is in real life.
You have worked with Vidya in NOKJ but she shot for Ghanchakkar after marriage. What changes has marriage brought?
One has more responsibilities and other priorities when one gets married. other priorities. But she is as humble as she was before. If anything, she is more refined, more gutsy. She is one of the gutsiest actors. She can give male actors a run for their money. Vidya is not very conventional in her choices. Once she is convinced, Vidya gives it her best. I was really scared to ask Vidya to gain eight kgs. She was on her way to lose the weight she had gained for The Dirty Picture. But she is so committed. She said she will do whatever it takes for the character.
Which are your favorite comedy movies?
Andaz Apna Apna, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, Chupke Chupke and Golmaal.
Has Ghanchakkar been made on a much bigger budget than your previous films?
We have made this film on a very tight budget. That’s the way I approach filmmaking. A good film can be made in any budget. The budget of the film should be justified. I have always believed in the spirit of film-making and not the cost.
You started your career with Anurag Kashyap, how did you become a director?
I met Anurag through common friends. I was working as an associate director for a TV series and he liked my work. When he started directing, I requested him to let me be part of his venture. We worked together in Black Friday and No Smoking. Aamir was the fifth script I wrote and luckily it got made.
Do you plan to use your earlier scripts now?
They were relevant at that time. As a filmmaker, you grow with time.
If not a director what would you have been?
Maybe, I would have been a banker. My dad was one, and he wanted me to do something on those lines.
It is said that the filmmaker’s real self is reflected in the movies he makes. What do your films say about the real Rajkumar Gupta?
You will have to ask my friends. I am an introvert, and want my films to speak more than I do.