I Didn’t Fear Anything While Making Zero, Says Aanand L Rai
Aanand L Rai has produced eight films in last two years. He has also shot Zero with Shah Rukh Khan in the same time.
Zero will release in December, 2018.
Aanand L Rai is much more than just a director with three back to back hits to his credit. He has also produced eight films in last two years.
He simply laughs and says, “Even I haven’t kept the count. All I care is about story and emotions.”
He then explains his choices. “The only thing I have understood is that we get attached to the stories. When I started, I couldn’t even tell my stories, wasn’t able to find producers. I did my share of struggle. When my first film didn’t work, I didn’t get disheartened. In fact, I became happy that I knew where I was going wrong. I was trying to impress people, which wasn’t exactly my job. Then Tanu Weds Manu happened.”
Rai says that what he can’t experience through his films, he does it through the films he produces. “Things that I can’t do myself, I live them through other people’s films. I would like to make something like Newton, but it won’t be similar to what Amit Masurkar did. It’s about somebody else’s truth that I wasn’t to live.”
He adds, “Take Manmarziyaan for example. I had that story for four years. I could have made that film, but I wouldn’t be able to do justice with the edge or sharpness of that story. As a person, I go to a soft space. I wanted a ‘ziddi’ (stubborn) person for it, so Anurag Kashyap came on board.”
Isn’t it hard for him to not interfere on the sets? Rai has a clear-cut answer, “As a director, I never want anybody to interfere. I am free to discuss, but the final call will be mine. I will explain my perspective but I won’t force my directors. Of course, I feel intensely different about certain scenes but I leave it to the director.”
He has collaborated on so many films in last 24 months. Does that mean collaborators see him as someone who can procure profit for their ventures? He smiles and says, “They keep a track on it but my decisions are totally based on the stories. Tumbbad might not get me very good money but it will always be a good film. At some point of time, every creative person wants to be a part of the history. I could have lived my life as the director of Tanu Weds Manu, but I also need excitement.”
He goes on, “When I am making Zero, it’s also about my creative hunger. Films like Nit Battey Sannata or Tumbbad give me that ‘extra’ I want from my life.”
Then after taking a deep breath, he says, “Zero is a very important film for me.”
Does this mean extra pressure on Rai? He says, “It has started (pressure) coming to me, but I have somehow managed to not feel it yet. I have enjoyed the process so far. Neither Shah Rukh Khan made me feel that he is such a big star, nor I have felt the pressure of performing at a certain level. My last two years have been full of excitement. Had I not been feeling happy while making it, Zero would have broken me with fatigue.”
While referring to Shah Rukh Khan’s vertically challenged character in Zero, Rai candidly says, “It’s like I walked the distance between two buildings on a rope and have seen towards the ground only now. Despite being in the commercial space, you’ll find innovation. I didn’t fear anything while making Zero.”
Will Zero change things for Shah Rukh as well. Rai, with a broad smile on his face, says, “Everybody needs a good story.”
Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/@nawabjha
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