This seems to have become a national issue. Farah Khan working with Akshay Kumar for her next directorial venture appears to be nothing short of Sonia Gandhi suddenly deciding to join BJP (sorry, couldn't think of a better analogy). Pretty much making all around headlines, the news of Shirish Kunder turning producer for Tees Maar Khan which stars Akshay Kumar, is directed by Farah Khan and doesn't feature Shahrukh Khan anywhere in close vicinity, has been the hottest recipe of the season. Over to Shirish Kunder who bares his heart out and tells us all about the past, present and future of his debut production.
Really, is it that big an issue which is being made out currently? Just like an actor has all the right to work with any director, same holds good for a filmmaker too, isn't it?
Forget the entire point around a director looking at working with his/her favourite actor. The point here is why are some sections of media hell bent on calling this as a war or something. It isn't as if Farah isn't working with Shahrukh Khan at all. Her Happy New Year is still happening with him and it is pretty much a part of the plan. It's just that in the time available to her, she is plugging in another film that happens to be with Akshay Kumar. However, why is everyone trying to find a controversy here? It isn't as if Farah has dropped plans for Happy New Year and has replaced that with another film.
Perhaps all these talks stem from the fact that Farah Khan has been known for her affection towards Shahrukh. Also, she is believed to have stated around the release of Om Shanti Om that she would work mainly with Shahrukh, as apparent in her first two directorial outings (that include Main Hoon Naa).
Maybe, maybe. In any case, it was me who was supposed to direct Tees Maar Khan first. It's just that when Farah read the script, she jumped on it. She said - 'Wish, I could make this film'. The moment she said that, I gladly handed over the script to her. It's as simple as that.
Really, was it that simple?
Yes, really. See, anyways Farah and I were looking at getting a production house started and Tees Maar Khan seemed like a good opportunity to do that. What better way to do that than split responsibilities and have it as an entire in-house affair. I couldn't have definitely handled both production as well as direction departments. This is why I decided to get the show running by donning a producer's hat while Farah picked up the directorial reins. Tees Maar Khan is anyways a very Farah Khan kind of film!
What makes you say that?
You must have seen Om Shanti Om and Main Hoon Naa. You would certainly be aware about the language that she talks. Her films are meant to be complete masala entertainers that cater to all segments of audiences and Tees Maar Khan does exactly that. I am so convinced that we have the best case scenario here.
Was it equally challenging to convince Shahrukh Khan as well who must certainly have been hoping to feature in each of Farah Khan films? Or was he not required to be kept in loop?
When I was writing Tees Maar Khan, I always had Akshay Kumar in mind. So there is no question of Shahrukh feeling upset or anything. He knew about the film from the very beginning so obviously there were no questions to be asked when Tees Maar Khan was announced with Akshay. Now if someone out there wishes to get 1 and 1 together then we can't help that, right?
Well, this 1 plus 1 stems from the hot topic making the rounds that you and Farah went ahead and signed Akshay quietly because Shahrukh had roped in Reema Kagti instead of you for his film The Zoya Factor.
Yes, even I read about this from papers. However, the fact is that I had nothing to do with The Zoya Factor. I wasn't even aware of a movie like this till I read about this so-called controversy. I have been so involved writing Tees Maar Khan that there is nothing else on my mind for all these years.
This is something that makes one wonder that how do you intend to stay away from direction for so many years. Your Jaan-E-Mann came 3 years back and now that you have got into production for Tees Maar Khan, it would be at least one more year before you get behind the camera yourself. Isn't the director in you craving to call the shots?
It is, it is (laughs). But then kya karen, we also have to set up our production house. Even that is important. Maybe when things settle down, I will fulfil my love for directing movies.
Perhaps you could get your first love of editing movies come in handy for Tees Maar Khan. After all before turning a director, you had edited quite a few flicks in the decade gone by?
(Laughs) Yeah, if time permits then why not? If I get involved in a project, I really get hands on. Like in case of Jaan-E-Mann, I had even done the background score. Though I really don't know how much time I will actually get for Tees Maar Khan. Running a production house is a full day job yaar!
So when do you get the film on floors?
That should be in March 2010.
And how about the leading lady?
We are still hunting for her. She could be an established actress or a new girl. We are open to both.