"I was very surprised with his directing style. Since he is an
experienced director, I was under the impression that he would sit
on every single detail of my performance. But the kind of freedom
he gave me, no other director has ever done," Imran told PTI in an
The 29-year-old actor spent a lot of time taking dialect
classes, doing workshops and meeting locals to understand the
milieu of the film, which is set in the backdrop of land
acquisition issue in Haryana. "Vishal would give me lot of material
during the rehearsals, like things to read and watch. They were
basically tools to create my character but from the day we arrived
on the sets, he told me 'Go ahead, I have given all the tools to
you, they are in your pocket, you decide which one to use and how
to use'," says Imran.
The actor, whose fan-base is largely urban thanks to hits like
Delhi Belly and Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, says having so
much freedom at the sets was "scary but empowering". "That kind of
freedom increases your responsibility, puts a lot of pressure on
you and is very scary but at the same time it is very empowering. I
had a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Really, no
director has given me that kind of confidence that Vishal did,"
Another challenge that the young actor faced was matching up to
the performance of Pankaj Kapur, who plays his boss in the movie.
"Pankajji is the sweetest, kindest person you would ever meet but
as an actor he is completely different. When the cameras roll, he
turns into a powerhouse, a volcano and then you have to face that.
You have to ensure that your part is not falling apart in front of
him," says Imran while sharing his experiences of working with the
Imran says Kapur never advised him or gave any tips on acting
but his presence was inspiring. "The actors who are very talented,
they understand that the process is different for each actor. He
did not give me tips or advice but the kind of focus and dedication
that he brought on the sets everyday was inspiring," says
Though the village setting was entirely new for Imran, he says
working on the film was fun because his sensibilities matched with
Bhardwaj. "The funny thing is that Vishal called me for this film
only after watching Delhi Belly. These two films are world
apart. His style of humour is very much in tune with my
sensibilities. That being said, the character itself was hard for
me to play," says Imran.
The actor is currently busy shooting Once Upon A Time In
Mumbaai 2. He begins working on Tigmanshu Dhulia's Milan
Talkies by the end of the year. Imran, who made his debut with
Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na in 2008, says he is happy with the
way his career has shaped up. "I think I have a record that any
actor would relish as the last five or six films of mine have been
hits. I am very happy with the way things have shaped up but that
does not mean I can sit back and relax. The pressure is on me to do
more," he says.