KNPH was inspired from Aradhna

Published On: 2020-04-21

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“Kaho Na… Pyaar Hai Was Inspired from Rajesh Khanna’s Aradhana,” Says Rakesh Roshan

Source: Daily Bhaskar
Date: Jan 05,2017 

Producer Rakesh Roshan talks about his upcoming film Kaabil. The filmmaker opens up about why he likes casting budding actresses in his movies. He also speaks if he was apprehensive about working with Sanjay Gupta whose last venture Jazbaa flopped and also supports son Hrithik Roshan in the Mohenjo Daro fiasco and says it’s not an actor’s fault when a film flops. Below are the excerpts from the conversation.

Q What was the idea behind casting Yami Gautam opposite Hrithik Roshan for Kaabil?

Hasn’t it been the case of casting comparatively newer actresses when it came to my films. Take for example Khudgarz (1987), I casted Jeetendra and Shatrughan Sinha as the heroes, but as heroines I casted Bhanupriya and Amrita Singh who were comparatively new. Likewise I casted ‘upcoming’ actresses Shilpa Shirodkar and Madhuri (Dixit Nene) in Kishen Kanhaiya (1990). Then for Hrithik’s (Roshan) launch vehicle Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai I took Ameesha Patel who made her debut along with Hrithik. Thus, I always take heroines who are upcoming, and are not busy with other commitments.

Q Why has that been the case? What are the pros of casting budding actresses?

When I make a film I want my heroines to be available for me all the time. For example if I am making Krrish with Hrithik and he gets injured on the sets and the shooting comes for a halt and gets postponed then I don’t want the actress saying I don’t have time, or my dates are booked. I don’t want to take all that tension. Thus, I feel it is better to work only with those actresses who can give me their 200 per cent. Budding actresses are not fussy and they follow my rules of availability.

Also, I feel young actresses are hardworking as they want to climb higher to reach their goal. Remember the Kaho Na… Pyaar Hai incident? Kareena (Kapoor Khan) shot for an entire day and backed out of the project. While my team asked me if the set was to be dismantled as there was no heroine for the film, I asked them to hang on and within two days got Ameesha on board. I remember I had gone to Brabourne stadium in Mumbai for a wedding and happened to meet Ameesha’s father who was a good friend of mine. We studied in boarding school together. I asked Ameesha if was eager to work in films and called her to my office the next day. I was impressed by her and casted her for Hrithik’s launch pad.

Q Was Yami always on your mind for Kaabil?

Actually my team wanted me to cast an established actress. Because, it was a difficult role – of a blind girl and that too opposite Hrithik – so they thought an experienced actress would do full justice to it. So they gave me a few names and asked me to meet these famous heroines. I was not so convinced with the idea of casting well-known heroines so I met an actress and narrated the script half-heartedly. Obvious, the heroine turned down the project. Then I went to other actress even she turned it down. My team was surprised how these actresses were saying a ‘no’ to the project but they didn’t know that I was narrating the script half-heartedly. Finally the team gave up and asked me to get a budding face on board. This is when I thought about Yami. Hrithik had not seen any of her films so I asked him to watch her Vicky Donor and Sanam Re. I called her for a meeting in office and within no time she was on board. She has a very Indian face and has a lot of honesty and sincerity on her face and has the look of a girl next door, perfect for the role of Supriya.

Q It’s quite a difficult role. How did Yami grasp the nuances of a visually impaired character?

I used to give her homework. I asked Yami to blind fold her eyes at home and start walking. I feel it’s not difficult to ‘see’ in the ‘dark’ once you know the place and the surroundings well. Like, at night, don’t you know the way to your washroom even when the light is not on? The lights are all off but you know which door to enter, where your slippers are, where’s the light’s switch etc. We also hired a coach who trained Yami for the role.

Q How did Hrithik cope up with playing a blind man in the film?

For him the most difficult part was the eye contact! If you have to go down the stairs, you would look down and walk, right? But since Hrithik plays blind he has to look straight and walk down. Now that’s quite difficult. You can try it yourself. During action scenes, a person would give a blow to him but he had to combat him by not looking at him. It was very tough.

Q There’s a buzz that the film is inspired from Korean film Broken and Salman Khan’s shelved project Buland that starred Somy Ali opposite him.

The story and the concept is not mine. It was director Sanjay (Gupta) who came to me with it. And anyway, I feel stories toh gin chunke paan-chhe hi hoti hai. It is all about how you use the same story, twist it and present it in your own way. For example, Kaho Na… Pyaar Hai has a very basic storyline of a boyfriend getting killed and a look-a-like of him coming in the picture. Frankly I got inspired by Rajesh Khanna’s Aradhana and made Kaho Na…Pyaar Hai. Likewise the concept of reincarnation was mostly used between lovers in movies, but I used the same concept and came up with Karan Arjun (1995) only instead of two lovers, I based the story on two brothers – Karan and Arjun.

Q Sanjay Gupta’s last film, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan starrer Jazbaa flopped. Weren’t you apprehensive of him directing your film?

I cannot judge him by just one project. I feel he is quite a capable director. Yes sometimes you do go wrong, but I was confident about our association.

Q Hrithik worked hard on Mohenjo Daro. There was quite a buzz about the film before it released or the trailer was out, but ultimately it flopped. Your comment?

Picture achchi nahi chali toh isme actor ki koi galti nahi hai. A good actor will always remain a good actor. Hrithik has done such commendable performances in films like Guzaarish, Dhoom 2, Koi Mil Gaya and Krrish so what’s the deal with Mohenjo Daro? People ask aapne kahani nahi suni thi pehle (before taking up the film)? I tell them kahani suni thi, jab sunai thi tab alag kahani thi, jab bani tab alag bani hai. Isme actor ka kya fault hai? So I never blame an actor when a film does not do well.