MUMBAI: Filmmaker Aanand L. Rai is known to have collaborated with several superstars including Dhanush, Akshay Kumar, Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma, while continuing to experiment with his storytelling instead of following the commercial film formula of Bollywood.
In a conversation with IANS, Aanand explains why he opts for conviction in storytelling as opposed to formula and why a movie like “Zero” starring one of Bollywood’s biggest superstars Shah Rukh Khan – actually wasn’t. a failure but an apprenticeship for him.
When asked how he plans his cast to bring superstars on board for his projects, Aanand told IANS: âWell, first of all, not seeing them as a superstar but as talented actors who ‘they areâ¦ you see the moment when I would start to think about the casting from a commercial point of view like in, let’s bring Dhanush from the south (Indian film industry) and Akshay sir from Hindi so that when the movie comes out, their two fans will meet at the cinema to watch a movie, I could compromise on a story.
“It’s my luck that Dhanush and Akshay sir, both are superstars, but above all they are good actors and perfect for the characters they played on screen. It was the same process for every movie I’ve made. Maybe that’s why my movies have more to do with the interest and experimentation of the story, rather than box office success. The business of a movie does can’t be predicted, but what I can offer is an original story. That’s all I’m trying to do. “
However, it’s not wrong to assume that when a superstar and successful filmmaker like Aanand come together for a project, the film’s success is expected. But that wasn’t really the result with the movie ‘Zero’ which starred Shah Rukh, Katrina and Anushka.
Does the pressure to deliver a successful movie increase when superstars are on board?
Aanand explained, âI want to put my thoughts on the table on this topic. Listen, having audience expectation is one thing and the way that I, as the director of the film, deal with it, is another. thinks that if I’m not ready to face this extra pressure then I shouldn’t have signed up for such a huge project.
âYes, I was working with one of our country’s biggest superstars, Shah Rukh. Making the film itself was an experience and I’m proud of the fact that it was one of the original films, a story. Yes, I took the pressure of Khan’s fame that I shouldn’t have had. But âZeroâ is not a failure but a learning for me. I knew how to take off, I didn’t know how to land !”
His next directorial job is “Raksha Bandhan” with Akshay Kumar. The filming of the film is over.