Teaming up with Kareena for her maiden production, director Hansal says actor has the same spontaneity that he had spotted in her Dev act
Kareena Kapoor kicked off the film in the UK last month
Over the past month, Hansal Mehta has taken his next to the halfway mark. The yet-untitled gritty thriller, currently being shot in the UK, marks his first collaboration with Kareena Kapoor Khan. Shooting with the actor has only reaffirmed an instinct he had about her, years ago, while watching Dev (2004). The director says that a striking image of Kapoor from the Govind Nihalani-directed venture had stayed in his mind. “When we were discussing this film, I told Kareena about Dev. In a scene in the film, she raises her hand and tells people that she isn’t a minister attacking the people of the locality. The way she enacted that scene stayed with me. Despite having [stalwarts like] Om ji [Puri] and Mr [Amitabh] Bachchan as co-stars, Kareena stood out in that sequence,” he recounts.
Years on, the filmmaker is happy to see that she exercises the same mastery over her craft. “Kareena comes well-prepared on the set, and knows the script inside out. [That said], she is just as quick to adapt. If I suggest a new approach, her instinct kicks in. An actor essentially responds to the moment that has been written, and she does that effortlessly,” Mehta states. The noir thriller is special to the duo — while it marks Kapoor’s foray into production, it sees the director depart from social dramas to tackle a crime thriller. “This is a genre I have not attempted in the past. You approach every day with some nervousness about what’s in store.”
The director has his plate full with Faraaz, Scoop and the second season of Scam. He has handed over the directorial reins to Tushar Hiranandani for Scam 2003: The Telgi Story. Does he feel the pressure of repeating the success? “I don’t take the pressure. I am constantly checking up on how the show is being executed. As a creator, I want to produce more under my banner. The best way to use an opportunity is to [facilitate] the creation of stories that you’d love telling.”