Jeethu Joseph talks about directing Rishi Kapoor in his upcoming film, The Body

Updated: Dec 12, 2019, 07:41 IST | PTI | Mumbai

How did Jeethu Joseph feel when he was directing a legend like Rishi Kapoor? The filmmaker answers

Picture Courtesy: Official YouTube Page/Viacom 18 Studios
Picture Courtesy: Official YouTube Page/Viacom 18 Studios

Filmmaker Jeethu Joseph, who is making his Bollywood debut with The Body featuring Rishi Kapoor and Emraan Hashmi, says the veteran actor's legacy never came in the way of making the thriller. Jeethu has helmed several critically acclaimed Malayalam films, including Memories and Drishyam, which was remade across five languages, including Hindi.

"Rishi sir's legacy never came in between making the film. But his experience helped a lot. To work with him is a blessing. In the beginning, I was slightly afraid because I was working with a legend. But he was cool and cooperative," Jeethu told PTI.

The director said Kapoor, 67, is a lot like Malayalam superstar Mohanlal when it comes to following a director's vision. "He is a director's actor. I felt like I'm working with Mohanlal. He's also a director's actor. Rishi sir usually doesn't work after 8 or 9 PM, but most of the scenes were at night, so there were days he stayed till 1 AM and told me he's doing it only for me. It was a great experience," he added.

Though The Body marks Kapoor's first collaboration with the filmmaker, the actor was on Jeethu's mind even when the idea of the Hindi remake of Drishyam was taking shape. "In the beginning stages of making the Hindi version of 'Drishyam', I suggested Rishi sir's name because I thought this character perfectly suits him, age-wise and other factors. I believed he can do justice to that character.

"But in films, we have to consider other factors such as the economics behind it. The producers considered that factor and went to Ajay Devgn who also did a great job." The Body is the Hindi remake of the Spanish film of the same name.
While most of the work of the film was completed last year, the post-production took a halt when Kapoor flew to the US for his cancer treatment.

What resulted was the post-production of The Body and Jeethu's other Tamil directorial Thambi clashing, with both films releasing in December. Jeethu says managing two big releases at the same time was stressful. "It's not that good because in filmmaking post-production is an important factor, so it was very stressful. But it happened accidentally because The Body was shot last year and was supposed to release last year but we had some patchwork shoot and Rishi sir had to go for the treatment.

"My well-wishers say that I'm having one Hindi and Tamil release in a single month but I wasn't enjoying. I hope it won't happen again in my life because it will affect the quality. The fortunate bit was, most of the post-production of The Body was over last year, and only small changes were there. But looking over two films at the same time is not a good thing," he added. The Body is scheduled to release on December 13

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