November 21, 2010 (Calcutta Tube): Imran Khan is back with Break Ke Baad, a film the actor describes as “a young, urban love story”. Helmed by debut director Danish Aslam, the project sees Imran paired opposite Deepika Padukone for the first time, in a production that has been shot in Delhi, Mumbai and Mauritius. IBNS London correspondent Steven Baker went head to head with the actor to talk all things Break Ke Baad.
How does it feel to be releasing your fifth film Break Ke Baad? Do you feel like a bankable star?
I am aware that I have had a certain amount of success and I have a certain box office clout, so I am in a position of some power. But I have a hard time taking it seriously. I have a hard time saying ‘I am a star’. I think that is a good thing, as the second you start thinking you have reached somewhere then maybe you will get complacent and take things for granted. I still think of myself as someone who has something to prove.
Tell us about your character (Abhay Gulati) in the film…
If you see the promos, it is a young, urban love story about a boy and a girl who have been dating for a really long time. The characters are about twenty-three or twenty-four years old and they have been dating since they were about fifteen or sixteen. Within the first twenty minutes of the film, you see them break up and see what happens after they break up – what their journey is, who they become, what they learn. My character is a guy who is not a very ambitious person, he doesn’t know what to do in life or what kind of career he wants. The only thing he is clear about is that he loves this one girl and he wants to be with her. The girl, however, is very ambitious and career minded, and this is what leads to them splitting up. She goes to Australia, and after some time he realises he has to get this girl back and follows her there. In the process of trying to get her back he learns what he wants to do in his own life.
It sounds a bit like Love Aaj Kal. Perhaps a touch of Wake Up Sid also?
Yes there are elements of both of them, you are right. Love Aaj Kal for the break-up angle and Wake Up Sid for the fact of the guy who doesn’t know what to do in life. At its core, more than that, Break Ke Baad is a love story. It’s a film that celebrates the concept of being in love. The guy is a classic old fashioned hero who will do anything for the girl he loves and follow her to the end of the earth.
So quite different to your role in your last release I Hate Luv Storys?
Very different, absolutely. That guy was a player, he was quite shameless.
It seems as if your audience wants to see Imran Khan only in the type of romantic hero role you mentioned. When you have done other types of film they appear to have been less accepted.
Yes you are right about that. Though I wouldn’t blame it on an audiences expectation, but on the quality of a film. I feel that if a film has not worked, you can’t argue with that. If it has not worked it has not worked.
How was it working with Deepika Padukone for the first time?
I have got to know Deepika over the course of making the film. She has really impressed me personally and professionally. She is someone who really cares about her work and puts in a lot of effort and is very concerned with improving herself and becoming a better actor. These are the kind of people you want to work with, people who care that much. On a personal level she is very humble and down-to-earth and I would say that she has become a very dear friend to me, possibly more than any of my other co-stars.
When director Danish Aslam narrated the film did you accept it immediately?
No, when I first heard the narration I said no to it. I liked the first half but felt the second half was not working. I then went on and signed I Hate Luv Storys. I had shot for nearly a month when I bumped into Danish again and he said he had reworked the script. I took it from him again and he had dramatically changed the second half and it was really good. I called him up the very next day and said ‘Listen, it’s awesome I am on’.
Has the content of the film been influenced at all by the producer Kunal Kohli?
Not at all. It is very much Danish’s film. Kunal has been an extraordinary producer and being a successful director himself, I can imagine that there might have been some expectations from people that he might shape it to his taste, but he never did that. Danish has made the film exactly the way he wanted it and the way he saw it, and I would really commend Kunal for that.
What is your favourite song in the film?
The Break Ke Baad album is not your normal commercial Hindi film music. It is a little off-kilter. The album itself has a modern rock sound, a little bit like Jason Mraz. There’s an English track in there called ‘Don’t Worry About Me’ which I really like. The response has been good, and for me, that is the track that I really like.
Will we see any more choreographed moves like ‘ Pappu Can’t Dance’?
Most of the songs are in the background. But there’s one song called ‘Dooriyan’ which is the only lip-synch song in the film, which has a dance and where we are actually singing. It is an awesome track. It was the last song that we recorded for the film and the last that we shot. It has come out really well.
(Credit to agency and writer mandatory)
(IMAGES: Imran Khan with IBNS correspondent in London)