Prabhu Deva on Salman Khan and directorial venture Wanted
A terrific choreographer who has churned out some brilliant films down south is all set with his first ever Bollywood directorial venture. Yes, he is none other than Prabhu Deva. Wanted, action-thriller marks his debut project in B-Town and he is highly excited about this Salman Khan and Ayesha Takia Azmi film. The film is slated to release on this Friday.
Prabhu Deva in a candid interview gives an insight of his experience working with Salman Khan and film fraternity so far.
A transition from choreography to direction…although direction is not new to you, but how has the new form of art treated you so far in Hindi cinema?
The new form of art has treated me the way film industry has in all these years. It has been overwhelming experience to work both as director and choreographer in the industry so far. It was sheer pleasure to work with Salman bhai who will be seen in the never seen energetic avatar in this film. I am quite confident about Wanted and sure that it will create magic.
What influenced you to zero on Wanted as your debut directorial venture in Bollywood?
Well, it has a long story behind it. I had decided to begin with romantic-comedy with Boney Kapoor productions, but I was recommended to do an action-thriller by Salman Bhai. In-fact, I did nothing but kept my promise to Salman Bhai to cast him in my debut venture. I was over-whelmed by his sweet gesture to remind me. I could not refuse and went ahead with Wanted, which is remake of a Tamil film ‘Pokiri’.
How was the first day of the shoot? Were you nervous or excited?
(Laughs), first day was quite relaxing as I choreographed a song featured on Salman Khan. Chorography is something that comes naturally to me, and since I have choreographed Salman bhai before, so things were quite peaceful on the first day.
Hmm, peaceful, but you were heard to be very strict on the sets as a choreographer…. were you the same as a director especially with Salman who is renowned for his independent nature?
Hmm, as far as my temperament as a director is concerned, I think this question should be put to the team of Wanted (laughs). However, yes, to bring a super-energetic performance I had to be little strict with Salman bhai. I remember (smiles), I would make Salman do loads of difficult steps and he would make me stop in the middle saying, “Oh wait… wait…let me take a break.” The break was granted for a few minutes and then I would again say, “Salman, few seconds more, we’ll finish and then you take a long break.” We would laugh over our respective smartness to derive work from each other. Well, considering the dance steps, it was pretty natural on Salman’s part to take a break. In-fact, he would ask me to break his bones. However, to churn-out a top-class performance, it was necessary for me to play those tricks.
Has the film shaped up the way you had envisioned?
See, as I said earlier, Wanted is a remake of hit Tamil film ‘Pokiri’. So, matching up to the standards and considering the Indian audience we had to bring something special. And I have tried my level best to live up to the expectations and rest depends on junta (audience) figure crossed.
Will you continue direction…if yes, what are the other films in the pipeline?
Yes, of course but right now I am totally engrossed with Wanted and wish it to become Wanted among the audience (smiles).
-Esha Razdan/ Sampurn