The Salman factor
Once the script of Dabangg went through Salman, it did see changes. When a huge star comes on board, you have to go with his image and his taste had to be taken into consideration. So yes, Salman has contributed to the script. Change is not bad and it was only making the film look better.
A satisfied lead protagonist
We had to keep Salman satisfied because as a producer, I didn't want an actor who was not comfortable with his role or the film. I had to allow him to do things his way because he comes with a relevant experience. This is the reason why he was the one who approved the script. Sometimes when the narrative becomes uninteresting, you plan certain things in a way that it all becomes interesting again. It is an evolving process. Salman didn't sleepwalk through Dabangg and really elevated it due to his commitment.
Didn't the change disturb the flow?
As producer, director and actor, we had made a promise to each other that everyone would contribute to the film. In fact we spent an entire year working on it before it went on floors. We concentrated on the look and graph of the film a lot. In fact even till the stage of editing, we were working on the creative aspects. It's not right to always think that just because your script is locked, you can't modify it.
Was the director convinced too?
As a newcomer, every individual needs help and the confidence to do it all independently only goes up after 3, 4 or 5 films. People don't know it all in the first film. Abhinav (Kashyap) was lucky that we came from a film background and hence all suggestions which were there were for the better. He knew that he was in right hands. He was comfortable with the changes in script since the basic film was made out of what he brought on table as writer.
No fuss whatsoever?
Fortunately, he understood that we are working with Salman who is a big star and knows his job. He never whined that 'nahi yaar, yeh scene maine ek saal pehle likha tha toh isse aise hi rehne do'. He knew that the time had changed since he wrote the first draft of Dabangg and hence change was inevitable. He understood and allowed that and thank goodness for that because otherwise it all becomes very difficult when a director is stubborn.
At the minimum, Dabangg is a super hit and it has to be seen if it goes on to gain a blockbuster status for itself. First time producer Arbaaz Khan has smashed box office in a big way and though as of now celebrations are still within the Khan family, there could be bigger things planned in the coming days. As congratulatory messages continue to pour in, Arbaaz Khan talks to this correspondent on what really transpired during the making of Dabangg.