Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Priyanka Chopra is doing a role that is not a typically defined Bollywood role. She is playing Roma in her forthcoming movie Don, a role which was previously played by Zeenat Aman in the original. How well she has recreated the Zeenat magic, only time will tell. In the meanwhile we talk to Priyanka Chopra about her experience of being a part of the new Don.
What was your reaction when you were offered Don?
When Farhan first narrated Don to me, I was very excited about the fact that Don is being remade and more excited about the fact that I get a chance to play the role of Zeenat Aman. But after a week I was a little nervous since Zeenat Aman played the character so well that I wondered if I will be able to do justice to the character as good as her. That you will come to know only by Friday.
How different are you from Zeenat Aman? Have you seen the old Don?
I definitely have seen the film. I saw the film when I was 13. When I was offered Don, I did not watch Don again because I did not want to do it like Zeenat Aman. If I tried being like her, I would not have been able to do justice to Roma as Zeenat aman had done a superb job. Comparisons are inevitable but Zeenat will always be the original Roma. I am just trying to recreate the character in a little different manner. We made Roma's character a martial arts fighter. We trained her. In terms of performance we have kept her subtle and restrictive. I do not know how it will turn out but I hope people like it.
How did you manage to pull off so many stunts?
Action is a first for me. I have never done an action movie where I have done my own action. I was very excited. I did all my stunts on my own. That for me is a very big deal. I wanted to make a record. For a first timer it is always exciting that you have done all your stunts all by yourself, without cables, without duplicates. The training aspect of it, learning martial arts which I have never done before, all that was a lot of fun.
How different is the new Don from the old?
There is a lot of difference. Presentation is very different. But besides that, the plot is the same, the story is the same, the essence of the film is the same. This Don is technically more sound.
There are original tracks as well as remakes of old songs? Why have you done so?
Don is our team's perception of the old Don. It is not the old Don and it is very important for people to understand that. But at the same time when we are remaking Don, it is incomplete without Khaike Paan Banaraswala and Yeh Mera Dil and hence we have retained it. We have contemporized the songs. They are obviously not the original songs because someone else is singing with new music to it.
What is the glamour quotient in the film?
All three of us, whether it is Kareena, Isha or me, all three of us are very very glamorous in the film because all the heroines in Don have to be glamorous.
How is the experience to work in a remake of a film?
It is very nerve-wrecking to be working in a film's remake, especially a cult super hit film. Don became a cult film. People used to look up to that film. I clarify again that our reason to make Don again is not to make Don a better film. That is not possible. We have just made a technically more sound film. We have made this film with one major reason being youths. Those who have not seen this classic, or the younger ones for whom old films is like the films in 90's or 80's, will really enjoy this Don. I know so many people who say they haven't seen the old Don. This is for all of them.
How was it working with Farhan Akhtar?
Farhan is a fantastic director. He has a very fresh approach to films and cinema. He knows exactly what he wants and he knows how to get it but at the same time he gives his actors a lot of independence to work better. He listens to everyone, takes their opinions, and eventually takes the decision himself which is exactly what a director has to do.
Any nervousness regarding the comparisons with the old Don?
Of course, there is bound to be nervousness because I don't think I can match up to what Zeenat Aman had done. There is bound to be nervousness which is why I tried to play Roma differently. I guess this Friday will decide that.
Can we expect sizzling chemistry between you and Shahrukh?
That is for you to decide. It is exactly the same film. I cannot comment on that. I guess you will have to watch and find out.
Farhan's films always have a technical break through. What is the USP here?
The way Don has been cut, it is so fast, that it doesn't give you time to think. It just goes really really quickly and that I think is the USP of Don.
Which is your favorite song from the film?
Khaike is my favorite song honestly. Yeh Mera Dil and Khaike are the most integral parts of the film, without which the film is incomplete. I also love the title track of Don and also Aaj Ki Raat. Basically I love all the songs.
Whom do you think has the sexiest character in the film?
I feel Boman Irani's character is the sexiest in the film.
Don is coming during the Diwali season. What difference can that make on the film according to you?
I feel festive season is very good for any film's release. People want to go out, watch films. We hope we live up to it. This is our Diwali gift to the audience. I hope people enjoy the film.
Which Don do you want to be remembered more?
See comparisons are bound to happen. We have made a film for the people. We do not want to replace the old characters as they have immortalized themselves but we are just trying to present the same film with a different star cast in a slightly different manner. So we want people to like both the Don's.
What do you feel of Shahrukh Khan in the film?
I think he is fabulous in the film. I do not think anyone could have enacted Don the way Shahrukh Khan has done it after Amitabh Bachchan.
Any scene which was very difficult to perform?
There is one scene where I have to jump over one car and get into another in the film. That scene took me 15 takes because the bonnet of the car was so hot, it made the job more difficult.