Satishji, for starters, with Karzzzz being just released, are you nervous or super excited?
I am very much excited because Karzzzz is one film that reminds me of my young days, when I used to be a 'dreamer'. Those were the days when I was just dreaming of turning into a filmmaker. In other words, I would like to say that Karzzzz is my tribute to 'that' era of films. For me, this film is more like representing the eighties era and bringing it to the era of the 2000's!
What made you choose on the remake of the original Karz?
The concept of remake was something that had already been decided by Bhushan Kumar and Himesh. I was contacted later. When they told me the story, I became too excited. I was also very much aware of the fact that it is going to be a 'big' film, for the very reason that it was coming from the stable of Bhushan Kumar and T-Series! Also that, Himesh hummed some tunes to me from the film, which got me further more excited. With all of this going, how could I say no to the remake of the original Karz!
What's your opinion about Himesh's acting skills? Have you seen him in his debut film Aap Kaa Surroor?
Of course, I have seen Aap Kaa Surroor and I simply loved him in the film. I have also seen him perform on stage and one needs to give it to him for such a massive fan following! The kind of music that he had given in Aap Kaa Surroor was simply phenomenal. After I saw the film, I was totally floored by his screen presence. He has got very dreamy and lost eyes complemented with a very sweet smile. Overall, he is a very wonderful person. As far as his acting skills are concerned, I would give him a 10 on 10. For Himesh is one person, who is passionate about whatever he does. Since I have dealt in theatre before, I was tad sure that I will be able to extract nothing but the best out of this man! Now that Karzzzz is complete, I can very confidently say that the whole 'confusion' about Himesh being an actor or a non-actor will be laid to rest! His performance in Karzzzz is totally FANTASTIC!
Do you think that the audiences will accept Himesh as Monty, a name that has by now become a benchmark of sorts, courtesy the brilliant portrayal by Rishi Kapoor in the original?
I am sure that the comparison that you are talking will be made by only those who have seen the original Karz before. At the same time, I am also confident that the 'Generation Next' will surely accept Himesh as Monty, as he has portrayed the role so convincingly and effectively. As far as the 'others' are concerned, I am sure that they too will accept Himesh as Monty. That's the kind of confidence, faith and conviction that I have in him, which is something that you too will agree to when you see my film. Having said all this let me also tell you in the same breath that an Original will always remain an Original!
Karzzzz is set in modern times. So, in what way is it different from the original Karz, besides the four 'Z's in the title that is?
I can explain this with the example of the Broadway musicals, where the same character is portrayed by different actors. Ours is also almost on the same lines. Closer home, the same 'pattern' is applied in theatre dramas also. I can confidently vouch for this statement as I personally hail from a theatre background. Coming back to Karzzzz, Himesh has portrayed the role of Monty in a different manner. Whenever I make a remake of a certain film, then, I always keep in mind to 'adapt' the original version in my film and not merely remake it! My film Karzzzz doesn't spoil the soul and the structure of the original Karz. Besides everything, let me also tell you I have not taken the original Karz to make it a better version in the form of Karzzzz. I have made my film, in a very 'student-like' approach, and I feel that, through Karzzzz, I have given the original Karz a fitting tribute that it rightly deserves.
In one of his recent interviews, Himesh admitted that Ranbir Kapoor would have been a better choice for Monty's role and also that he would have ensured the film's Box Office success? Do you agree with him?
I always believe that any actor can do any role. Having said that, I would also like to add that the Himesh's 'version' of Monty would shock the audience for sure. The general mentality is that when you expect certain things out of a certain actor, and when that actor delivers something that was not expected of him, it is translated into a certain amount of shock value. Himesh, in the role of Monty is one such shock value experience. As far as his statement about Ranbir is concerned, all I can say is that it's indeed very sweet on behalf of Himesh to have said that. But, as far as I am concerned, I will still stick on to Himesh as my choice for the role of Monty.
It's a universal fact that Himesh is a very religious and superstitious man. Were there any clashes of interest due to that in that terrain?
Not at all. Himesh and I were always on the same wavelength. And I have known him for quite a long time. By now, we know each other's working pattern.
How was the overall 'Himesh Reshammiya' experience?
Hailing from a theatre background, the 'actor' in me was taught (during my struggling days) that, for an actor, 'listening power' should be more important than the 'verbal power'. According to me, a good actor is someone who listens more than he speaks. And I found this quality in Himesh. He was totally open to my way of direction. He is someone whom I would call as a 'Directors actor'. Also it's a sheer delight to even listen to him. He knows all the ups, lows, pauses, modulations and the stresses of every sentence. The overall 'Himesh Reshammiya' was simply fabulous!
What made you cast Urmila opposite him?
Urmila was always my first choice. She has time and again proved herself as a path-breaking actress in every film. I know her since her Masoom days, wherein she played the lead. I just couldn't think of anyone besides Urmila for the role of 'Kamini'. And trust me; Urmila as 'Kamini' is simply outstanding in the film.
Satishji, having introduced actors like Tabu, Tusshar Kapoor, Bhumika Chawla, and now Shweta Kumar. What do you have to say about Shweta? Do you feel that she has the potential to make it big?
I take it as my responsibility when any newcomer comes to me. And I feel really nice connecting with them. I always treat my seasoned actors on a huge platform. And as far as the newcomers are concerned, I have the added advantage of training and moulding them in the best of their capacity and not by thrusting myself and my style on them! As far as Shweta is concerned, I think that she has a huge potential to make it big as an actress. She is very cool, casual and tad comfortable in front of the camera.
Apparently, Simi Garewal, who played 'Kamini' in the original Karz, had commented that Sushmita Sen, not Urmila, was more suited for the remake. What's your comment on the same?
As I always said, any actor can play any role. If she (Simi) had said so, I respect her statement. But I will still stick on to Urmila as she is someone who matches the persona of Himesh to the 'T'!
Has the 'original' Monty, Rishi Kapoor, seen Karzzzz? What were his comments on the same? I still have to show it to him. But he is a very dear friend and moreover a fantastic person. When we started the film, it was really sweet and endearing on the part of Subhashji and Rishiji to wish us good luck. Rishiji also attested the music of Himesh in Karzzzz and also told him that he deserved a pat on his back for making such a wonderful score.