While others may shy away from using new directors, Akshay Kumar is one Bollywood star who takes pride in saying that young directors have helped his career and that there is not much risk involved in working with debutants.
“I have given some of my best films with new directors — Abbas Mustan in Khiladi, Guddu Dhanoa in Elaan and Naresh Malhotra in Yeh Dillagi — there is a long list of newcomers I have worked with. In recent times, I have worked with Sajid Khan in Housefull,” Kumar told IANS.
The 44-year-old also worked with Sabir Khan in his directorial Kambakhat Isqh, but it didn’t work.
So is there any risk factor involved in working with fresh talents?
“It is not at all risky to work with newcomers, they have the motivation, they want to do something and want to prove themselves. I like working with newcomers because they have new ideas. With due respect to all other directors, who also make good films, I enjoy working with newcomers a lot,” he said.
However, this doesn’t mean Kumar will not work older directors and is currently working with Neeraj Pandey for his upcoming film Special Chabbis.
“The whole idea is to do different films with different directors. My responsibility in Special Chabbis as an actor is to follow my director thoroughly without giving any inputs,” he said. Special Chabbis and Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai Again are the films I will be proud to be associated with,” he added.
The actor says he not only works with first time directors but also enjoys hiring fresh talents for his production houses — Hari Om Productions and Grazing Goat.
“I am making a film under another banner, Grazing Goat, with director Umesh. He has directed plays with Paresh Rawal and I liked one of his plays. I have taken the rights of the play and I am working on the film now, but not acting in it. Paresh is there in the film and it’s called OMG. I hope it will get released by September this year,” he said.
Young directors making a mark in Bollywood
Son of acclaimed scriptwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar, Farhan Akhtar dropped out of college and began working as a film assistant at the age of 17. He eventually launched his own production company in 1999 with his childhood friend Ritesh Sidwani. Under their banner, Excel Entertainment, Akhtar directed and released his first film Dil Chahta Hai in 2001. Akhtar’s unique style of making movies found an instant fan base.
Twin sister of Farhan Akhtar, Akhtar made her directorial debut, Luck By Chance (2009), starring her brother. Before this, she was an assistant on several films since the late 1990s including her brother’s first two movies as director. Akhtar also directed the hit film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, starring Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif along with her brother Farhan and Abhay Deol.
While Imtiaz Ali’s, Socha Na Tha didn’t win him acclaim, his second film Jab We Met did. He made good on that promise in 2009 with Love Aaj Kal where he presented audiences with a love story settled firmly in reality, and once again audiences responded very favorably. Ali also directed the hit film Rockstar starring Ranbir Kapoor.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2012.
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