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Why Amrita Rao was chosen for Shortkut

Shortkut writer Neeraj Vohra on why he chose Amrita Rao.

Anand Vaishnav |

Updated:July 10, 2009, 6:20 PM IST
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Why Amrita Rao was chosen for <i>Shortkut</i>
Shortkut writer Neeraj Vohra on why he chose Amrita Rao.

Buzz18.com caught up with Neeraj Vora, writer of the Hera Pheri series to talk about his forthcoming directorial venture Shortkut-The Con Is On.

Question: One would have expected the director of Phir Hera Pheri to make Hera Pheri 3. Why did you move on to Shortkut?

Neeraj Vohra: Hera Pheri has been a part of my life for quite some time now. But after a point you can't do much with those characters. As a result their mannerisms become cliched. I am happy those characters have become so iconic in Indian cinema. But I wanted a break. I didn't wait to continue with Hera Pheri so early. It is my good fortune that Anil Kapoor came up with idea of Shortkut - which is a departure from out-and-out comedy. Shortkut is a serious subject treated humorously.

Question: But you haven't written this film. So didn't you have issues with working on someone else's material?

Neeraj Vohra: See even a chef will be happy if you tell him to use a ready to eat packet. Everything from the script to casting was finalised before the project came to me. As a writer I have done over 50 films, so working on someone else's perspective was a new experience. Aneez Bazmee has written a wonderful script. But I have rewritten the dialogues. I don't like SMS gags. I prefer humour to come out of realistic situations. I am not a desktop writer and have to enact a situation to come up with lines.

Question: But Anees being such a big director, didn't keep tabs on your approach to the film?

Neeraj Vohra: You must understand that Anees was never going to direct this film. He had written it to the satisfaction of Roshan Andrews (the original director). As it is, Anees would have had to rework it according to my needs. So he had no problems with my changes. He understood that being a writer I could take charge of the script.

Question: Akshaye plays a writer…So have you derived anything from your own struggle?

Neeraj Vohra: It's not autobiographical at all. But I have shown the industry from my perspective. There are no stereotypes in the movie. A lot serious situations have been observed from my own humorous perspective.

Question: Akshaye and Arshad have totally opposite styles of comedy. How did you handle them?

Neeraj Vohra: Both are committed actors who are true to their characters. Aksahye is very sincere, while Arshad is a natural and a fantastic improviser. He is the kind of guy who will do anything to derive humour out a situation. Whereas Akshaye Khanna is someone who is above things like screen time and punch lines.


He looks at the film on the whole and is constantly thinking about the final product. Yet he is aware of what suits him and what doesn't. He requests for alterations if something isn't working. Both were totally gelled into the situation of opposing each other.

Question: Was it beneficial for your film to have those differences between Akshaye and Arshad?

Neeraj Vohra: I am a very selfish director and wont give up till I get the best. But their different working styles were like a shortcut for me while making the film. That's why it was very easy for me to write conflicting lines for both of them.

Question: How did you come up with idea of Amrita Rao's makeover? She is perhaps looking her best ever…

Neeraj Vohra: Yes, no doubt about that. If we had cast a Katrina Kaif, who is already so glamorous, it would have been predictable. Amrita has brought in a surprise element. She plays a superstar in the film. I told her to feel like a star who has an unattainable quality to her. From the look to her characterisation, Amrita went all out - it's a first for her.

Question: What's the final word on your supposed film for Aamir Khan?

Neeraj Vohra: Everybody in the industry wants to make a film for Aamir Khan. Finally the merit of the script will decide.

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