How and when did you decide to launch Imran?
Actually it didn't start that way... Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na was being produced by Jhamu Sugandh along with two other films. Unfortunately, there was a financial crisis and Jaane Tu... was without a producer. When Imraan Khan and Abbas Tyrewala narrated the script to me, I just fell in love with it. As a producer or an actor, wherever I put my name, I want the audience to identify that the film will be quality cinema. After I decided to produce the film, I went through all the auditions to check if they were perfect for their roles… only then did I approve. But now that the film is ready, it brings back emotional memories of chachajaan launching me in QSQT. Our families are very close and we all have grown up together, Mansoor, Nuzhat, Nikhat and me. All my formative years were spent at their house itself....
What do you think of Abbas Tyrewala, as a director?
Abbas Tyrewala is very talented and that is reflected in his earlier works. He has written scripts for Munnabhai, Maqbool... I really like his sense of humor. When he approached me, I had asked him to shoot 5 scenes based on which I decided to produce the film. He did a commendable job and I was confident of him.
Having mentioned about QSQT, heard you had gone around, sticking posters of your movie on taxis?
Yes, I have done that; you see earlier, newcomers faced a lot of difficulties. Unlike today, we never had platforms where we could promote our films. In fact, I remember Juhi and I hardly gave any interviews and the few that we gave, never got any coverage... but now the awareness has increased and there are many platforms.
So you mean it has become easier for Imran Khan?
Yes it has, as compared to my time things have really changed a lot. These young actors like Imran, Genelia don't require to do all that…
You are accused of interfering in the director's work.
Actually, to the contrary I was not there for a single day of the shoot of Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na. I was shooting for Taare Zameen Par around the same time when Jaane Tu… was being shot. In fact there was a very funny incident that I recall. I was traveling or rather passing by Bandra bandstand and I saw shooting happening at bandstand. Curiosity got the better of me and I stopped to see who was shooting in the middle of the night at bandstand. When I got down, I was surprised to see Mansoor Khan, Abbas Tyrewala and Imraan Khan shooting for Jaane Tu... that was the only day that I was on sets of Jaane Tu...and that too accidentally
What do you think of the music of the film?
I love the music... A.R. Rahman is one of the biggest talents in the music world. After a long time, he has come up with a youthful, light album. He has basically followed the style of the film very well.
We have seen different facets of yours in your movies. What do you have to say about that?
I have actually lived a full life as an actor. I have always tried learning and growing with each role that I play. And I have felt the change in my personality with every movie. In fact more than me, I'm sure you all must have noticed that.
Your blog keeps you in news... especially the SRK blog?
You know what, Shahrukh Khan and I keep joking with each other... we have such a comfort level with each other that we can understand a joke as a joke… That's the strength of our friendship and the understanding we share. He has made fun of me several times in the past and I have taken that as a joke. However, most of our fans didn't appreciate the humor so I apologized to them for hurting their feelings... In fact we spoke a couple of days back... I had called him to invite him for the Premiere.
For the Premiere of the movie, is it true that you have called both Amitji and Shah Rukh?
Yes… it is an emotional moment for the family and I know that chachajaan would have wanted to call the entire film fraternity. I have called all my friends and colleagues from the industry.
Is the song Pappu Can't Dance hinting at Salman?
No. How can that be? And by the way, Salman is a very good dancer
So what do you have lined up for this year?
Jaane Tu... releases on July 4… As an actor, I have Ghajini releasing this year. Then in production I have two films, Delhi Belly and one more untitled film by Anusha... after I complete Ghajini, I would be starting work on Raju Hirani's next film.