Abhishek Kapoor on wife Pragya: She has hit some serious highs now in my eyes
Now that Kedarnath has hit the screens, Abhishek Kapoor spoke to mid-day online about the ups and downs the movie went through, and how wife Pragya Yadav was a solid support system
Director Abhishek Kapoor has his film, Kedarnath up for its release. He feels that there is some force above, who did not let him shatter due to various hindrances caused to his film. Confident about Sara Ali Khan and proud of his equation with Sushant Singh Rajput, Kapoor is certain that the film will be able to convey its message without hurting any religious sentiments. In an exclusive interview with mid-day online, Abhishek spoke about many aspects revolving around Kedarnath.
What kind of reactions are you receiving for Kedarnath, and how do you feel?
It feels great that something you've been fighting for and has believed in for 2 years is finally being perceived. People are liking the trailer and reacting to it, which makes me feel good.
With so much of chaos around the movie and your wife (Pragya Kapoor) being pregnant at the same time. How supportive were both of you for each other?
My wife is a rock. She's a very dependable person and this episode in our lives… I had shot 50 percent of my movie and the remaining half was stuck, and she was 50 percent pregnant. It was a very trying time for us. In fact, she just stepped in and ran the whole production from her end, and that moved me. I was spending my own money at one point in time to keep the film moving ahead, and she just jumped in and took charge. I always had a lot of respect for her but she has hit some serious highs now in my eyes.
You've embraced fatherhood for the second time. How does it feel, all good things (Kedarnath's release) happening at the same time?
Too much was happening. My movie is getting ready, my second son has just arrived. You've got your hands full.
Where did you derive the inspiration from, for making a film on natural calamity, Kedarnath?
As a youngster, I would quite often go to Vaishnodevi (holy place)with my parents but one doesn't understand what the Hindu philosophy is. There are various positive and good qualities in you. If you horne them and bring them to the higher self, you can awaken the Gods within you. After my last movie, I went travelling to see where are the people who I make movies for. Where are they and what are they doing. I chose a pilgrimage to go to and went. On that pilgrimage, I saw something really beautiful. I saw the poorest of the poor come there to meet their Gods. And there are people who carry them on their backs every day for 14 km on the upper mountainside. Some of them were Muslims, and that just defined who we are as Indians. As a society, India is a very inclusive place. In the purest of the places we live in harmony and at service of each other. It's only when you take it down, you realise there's a serious kind of pollution in our, existence and the divide. I picked the 2013 Kedarnath floods as the backdrop because I wanted people to see the suffering the poorest of the poor have had. Because in India there's such a disparity in social strata that the poor man's value of his life is zero. If 400-500 people die in a train accident, nobody even blinks an eye and turns the page to the next celebrity gossip. I thought to make this movie, people should see the magnitude of loss, devastation, and pain our fellow Indians have been through. The movie has so many layers that you're left thinking about it and wanting for more.
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On my 1st trip to kedarnath, as we started our journey up to the temple, we saw these 2 #pithoos on their way back. They had carried these yatris up earlier in the day and were now bringing them back. Its an 18 kms steep trek and they do this everyday. Neither of them looks like a cross fit trainer.. their strength comes from the core of their being.. that core is called #sewa #kedarnath #jaibholenath @sushantsinghrajput @saraalikhan95 @pragyadav @rsvpmovies @gitspictures @zeemusiccompany
What were your preparations for Kedarnath, and the experience shooting in the mountains?
It was a very difficult movie to make. But there are certain films that they choose you that this story has to be told. I feel very privileged, some force, some energy up has picked me to tell the story. And despite all the troubles that I have been through and all the difficult days of shooting this movie, I've never lost my resolve to go ahead. All my enthusiasm on a single day or even a minute wouldn't drop. I think there is God up, who is watching over this movie.
Were Sushant Singh Rajput and Sara Ali Khan your first choice for this film?
Sushant was my first choice because we have worked together in Kai Po Che. We share an equation and a dynamic that has been appreciated earlier. I was looking forward for the right girl and a celebrated actor but I also wanted to start the film very quickly, and that's when new people get their breaks. Sara was out there, I was seeing pictures of hers and I contacted her through a common friend, Sandeep Khosla. When I met her, I saw a spark in her. She has a very strong personality, which is what this character needs but she had no experience. I realised that this will be a task to kind of nurture and groom her to bring her to an actor to share the platform with professional players, whether they are cast or crew. There's a freshness in her and somewhere everything just went right from there.
In a country, where people are so sensitive about religion and their views, weren't you afraid that the film might face some obstacles?
I never thought of it like that. We put out the teaser and the trailer and people were reacting in their own ways. There are positive reactions and then there are people who react with some kind of fear. Fear, because they've probably been hurt before. They feel that someone is going to hurt their ideology and their feelings. It's a free country and people are allowed to voice their opinion. I'm sure that now the film is out, people will see that.
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