December 26, 2010 (Calcutta Tube): Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif and Farah Khan flew into London to promote Tees Maar Khan. From Sheela Ki Jawani to Shah Rukh Khan casting controversies, the film consistently generates column inches. London Correspondent Steven Baker went head to head with director Farah Khan and stars of the movie trade analysts are predicting will be the biggest Bollywood grosser of 2010.
Can you confirm the rumours that the project was first offered to Shah Rukh Khan?
Farah: When it was decided that I was going to direct the film the first person I called was Akshay and he was the only choice. Akshay was fabulous to work with. As a star to have in your film, he is bang on with time. If you want him there at 6 am he will be there at 5.30 am. He brings 200% and gives everything to the shot. Other than that, he improvises and will give you two or three variations of how to do it.
How did you decide on the casting of Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif?
Farah: For me, it was the first time I was working with Akshay and Katrina both. For a long time I resisted bringing the two of them together as I thought they had been together in too many movies. But I think we have presented them in a very different way, both of them are not doing anything we have seen before, and they look like different actors. When they come together their chemistry is so special, and when the camera goes on, magic happens. You cannot explain two people’s chemistry, but for them it is there in abundance. They are also both tall, good looking and they complement each other physically.
Did you realise ‘Sheela Ki Jawani’ would be such a hit?
Farah: I knew ‘Sheela Ki Jawani’ would be a big hit. We composed it, constructed it and choreographed it in such a way. But it is incredible that it has gone onto become this kind of a rage, with people watching it a hundred times on YouTube. What is surprising is that little kids are loving it. Maybe it is a children’s jingle. When Akshay saw it, he said in small cities they are going to stop the film and replay the song again. Akshay said It will be fun watching this song in the interiors of India and literally the audience throw money at this kind of song. And this time I am going to be there right in front to pick up all the money.
How did Salman Khan come onboard for the project?
Farah: I asked Salman Khan to do a song for our movie as there were rumours already that he was in it. I asked him if he would do it and he agreed. It was as simple as that.
Why is the film releasing earlier in the international market?
Farah: In the UK and US we are releasing earlier because the holidays begin on 22nd, so we get a really long weekend. We want to get the advantage of a bigger opening weekend and we get a five-day weekend this way. In the Middle East we release 23rd because all films release on a Thursday over there.