In case of Karzzzz, you had said that you didn't wish to prove any point to anyone. However, in case of Radio, doesn't it become imperative that you actually prove a point?
No, I really don't have to prove a point to someone. What I certainly wish to do though is win my audiences. This is something which was always there in my mind. We have worked hard on the film to make it work as per the current audience sensibilities. Since commercially also we are quite safe due to Radio being a 'price success' already, it is now up to the audiences to appreciate it further and make it a success in theatres.
I am sure you must be quite emotionally attached to Radio since with this film; it's the matter of bouncing back in a big way.
Yes, I am emotionally attached to Radio and something like this is bound to happen when you have a quality product in hand. Having said that, your confidence level is a notch above too when you know at the bottom of your heart that the film will click with audiences. Also, I have always maintained, Radio is one film which audiences can relate to and this is what really is the USP here.
After the success of Aap Kaa Surroor, you had a Karzzzz to contend to. Tell me honestly Himesh, there must have been quite some equations changing during the year gone by, isn't it?
No, there hasn't been any change per se and I will explain why. Pick up any actor from past or present and you would that see at least in the first half of his career, there won't be more than 10% success rate. 90% of his films would have been flop at the box office. In this context, I still have a 50% success rate. I started off with a hit followed by a flop. And again, let's not forget that Karzzzz flopped due to its price; otherwise the collections were even better than Aap Kaa Surroor. Now, my next 6-7 films would decide whether I am a successful actor or not. This is why I don't think that when it comes to me, any belief, perception or equations have changed over last couple years.
You really think so...?
Yes, I do. See, I am not someone who will ever be in a denial mode. If Karzzzz didn't work, I know why it didn't. The film was originally made in the 80s and the remake carried forward the same sensibilities. We didn't alter anything and naturally, multiplex audiences were not really enthused about it. This is why in case of Radio, we were very sure that what was the target audiences we were looking at. Accordingly, we have projected the aesthetics and sensibilities of the contemporary urban India.
It seems the idea was to bring in something entirely new and unexplored?
Absolutely. Everything about Radio is new. Let's pick up something as basic as dressing up. Normally in a movie, you would see a hero entering a party in those flashy costumes to make an impression. However, in Radio, Vivaan is shown wearing a white shirt and blue jeans. Other than that the music is also absolutely new where I have experimented with a different sound and voice. The entire idea around bringing in the relevance of social networking sites is new. The narrative is new; it doesn't belong to the kind that has been seen before. The questions raised around compatibility are asked for the first time. The female co-stars are new.
Talking about your female co-stars, how were Shenaz and Sonal short-listed?
We completely went by what the character demanded. For a Parsi RJ, who else could have been a better choice than Shenaz Treasuryvala? And then for the other leading lady, Sonal was just the right choice since we had to get a young woman who was very unpredictable. I have worked with Sonal in Ishq Unplugged and we all were convinced that she would be able to deliver goods in Radio as well. As I have stated earlier, we have been honest about everything associated with Radio. Same holds good for the cast too. We are not selling anything that would come as a surprise to you.
Your music does surprise though as it is completely 'uncharacteristic Himesh'...
And you can see that this surprise has turned out to be quite pleasant for many out there! As a composer, I could give Himesh Reshammiya - the singer, an altogether new platform to perform. Another fact is that when we were discussing the economics of the film, music was one of the assets we had in hand other than home video, satellite rights etc. However, the way music has been received by audiences, we have recovered the price of the film though album sales itself. Whatever additional now comes is an added bonus.
The film is clashing with Amitabh Bachchan's Paa. Isn't that a scary thought?
Yes, I am scared but one can't help that, right? Due to producers' strike, plans of so many movies went haywire. Now that Radio and Paa are coming together, I am sure both of them will do quite well at the box office. I am definitely watching Paa in theatres on its release. In any case, it's an honour to be pitted against none other Mr. Amitabh Bachchan.