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No drama: Gowariker's next is a romantic comedy

Gowariker's next film What's Your Rashi? stars Priyanka and Harman.

News18test sharma |

Updated:May 23, 2008, 12:33 PM IST
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No drama: Gowariker's next is a romantic comedy
Gowariker's next film What's Your Rashi? stars Priyanka and Harman.
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Ashutosh Gowariker is ready to get into a light frothy romance that he says requires "no research" after three intense films Lagaan, Swades, Jodhaa-Akbar".

Gowariker's next project What's Your Rashi?, which will star Priyanka Chopra and Harman Baweja, takes him "far away" from his earlier three films, he says.

"In What's Your Rashi? I don't have to go into historical details. But a good comedy is a challenge of its own. The process of arriving at the humour is extremely difficult," says the acclaimed director in an exclusive interview to

He says he knew he wanted to make a romantic comedy after Jodhaa-Akbar and his ideals were middle of the road films like Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Chupke Chupke and Basu Chatterjee's Baaton Baaton Mein.

Gowariker chose Harman after he saw the rushes of Love Story 2050. "He turned out to be fantastic," he says.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q: How come this sudden announcement about a film with Harman Baweja and Priyanka Chopra?

Ashutosh Gowariker: It wasn't supposed to come out. I don't know how the news leaked out, and that too the wrong news. People said it was based on a play, when actually it's based on a novel. It's a book called Kimball Ravenswood by Madhu Rye. It takes me far away from my last three films.

Q: But those three films were as far removed from one another as possible?

Ashutosh Gowariker: They were. Lagaan, Swades and Jodhaa-Akbar had the element of drama common to them. What's Your Rashi? is a light frothy romantic comedy and I've never done one of those before. After 10 years and three films that required me to do rigorous research at last I'm doing a film that requires no research.

Q: But surely you had a team to do research on those projects?

Ashutosh Gowariker: No, I like to do it on my own. Only when I do the research am I able to absorb and understand the subject. In What's Your Rashi? I don't have to go into historical details. But a good comedy is a challenge of its own and the process of arriving at the humour is extremely difficult.

Q: Weren't you supposed to do another film with Hrithik Roshan after Jodhaa-Akbar?

Ashutosh Gowariker: I am extremely keen on doing a film with Hrithik, but right now he's extremely busy with his home productions. I have a subject for him which I'll do later. After Jodhaa-Akbar, I was sure I wanted to do something non-historical, light and fun. And I knew I wanted to make a romantic comedy but I didn't know which script.
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Q: What kind of romantic comedy are you talking about?

Ashutosh Gowariker: I'm thinking of those middle-of-the-road films by Frank Capra, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee like It's A Wonderful Life, Chupke Chupke and Baaton Baaton Mein.

Q: How, and why Harman and Priyanka?

Ashutosh Gowariker: When I saw Harman in his trailers of Love Story 2050 I requested his father to show me the rushes. He turned out to be fantastic, he's a superb actor. I was confirmed in my belief that he's the best person for the part. Harman came into the picture first, then I signed Priyanka. I'm very impressed by Love Story 2050. It breaks the mould, like Krrish. If a person flies it was always said, Yeh Hanumanjee ki kripa hai, and If a person travels in time it's always reincarnation. But not in Krrish and Love Story 2050. It's a straight sci-fi film, a genre we're scared to attempt.

Q: Isn't there a risk of people saying it's gimmicky casting?

Ashutosh Gowariker: I always go by my hunch, when I cast Hrithik in Jodhaa-Akbar I had heard the same complaints. 'Hrithik as Akbar? What's wrong with you? You shouldn't make a historical, and that too with Hrithik.' Earlier during Lagaan people thought I had gone mad getting Aamir to wear a dhoti. I'm sure Harman will be absolutely correct for the part.

Q: So are you taking this casting to be a challenge?

Ashutosh Gowariker: The challenge for me is the script, the actors come later. For the past two months I've been in a fragile state of mind wondering what I'd make next. I was completely jittery, now that I've made up my mind to make What's Your Rashi? and my two protagonists Harman and Priyanka are in place, the rest will just follow smoothly.

Q: Are you anxious?

Ashutosh Gowariker: No, I'm relieved. You'll be surprised to know I started Swades immediately after Lagaan and Jodhaa-Akbar right after Swades. So there's no prolonged period of turmoil for me. Only the research in the earlier films took longer. Since What's Your Rashi? has no research I can start immediately.

Q: Any changes from book to film?

Ashutosh Gowariker: Whatever is required to make it cinematic, there would be songs. I've bought the rights from the author and I'll be co-writing the script with a colleague, Naushil Mehta, but I won't be changing the basics.

Q: So I can read the book and know the entire plot of your film?

Ashutosh Gowariker: I've bought every available copy of the novel, so you'll just have to wait for the film. No, I'm only kidding.

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