Rumi Jafry is all set to release his second film and it will be clashing with the much hyped Kaminey, but he is confident and eager to have his work judged by the audience and the critics…
Let’s start by talking about the cast of your film. It has Govinda, Tusshar Kapoor, Fardeen Khan, Genelia and Prachi Desai. Who finalized the cast?
When I was writing the film, I wanted Akshay Kumar to play the role of Govinda. He readily agreed. But then he went to Canada for the shoot of his film Tasveer with Nagesh Kukunoor. But as the film faced a lot of visa problems of the unit, Akshay lost a month and he had to give the dates allotted to me to Tasveer. As we had all the dates of the remaining cast and crew, we did not want to delay the shooting and Govinda was roped in. And he has made a huge difference to the film.
Was it easy working with Govinda specially as you have always interacted with him as a writer?
My relation with Govinda goes back years. I have always described his scenes to him when I was a writer, so it was a no issue actually. I told Govinda that you have to lose some weight and cut your hair. He readily agreed.
So there were no starry tantrums from him?
Of course there was nothing of that sort. Most things about him get distorted. And even stories about him arriving on the set late is all hogwash. We were shooting in Kamalistan Studios and Govinda arrived from America straight for the shooting. We started at 11.30am and shot till 2.30am. At 9am the same morning, Govinda was back on the sets shooting for my film.
How did you approach Abbas Mustan to produce your film?
Abbas bhai and Mustan bhai wanted me to write for their film, but I told them that I have a script which I wanted to make. They readily agreed to produce my film when they heard the story. Although they have never directed any film written by me, they were very excited and the project started without any fuss.
As they are directors themselves, did they ever tell you how to take a shot or advise you?
The strangest thing is that they were never there. When I used to inform them about a music sitting with Pritam, they would tell me to go ahead, but they would not come. When the film started shooting, they were there on the first day, but left promptly after the puja. I was very perplexed. I finally asked them as to why they don’t come on the sets and they replied that it is your film so their presence is not required. They came for our outdoor schedule and that too for only a few days and always sat very far from the monitors. As producers, they are excellent. I was never denied anything from them. And being first time producers, I was surprised at the way they let me be alone specially as my last film did not do well.
So what went wrong with your first film, God Tussi Great Ho?
Everything was right about the film. I had a dream cast of Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Priyanka Chopra, but inspite of all that things did not go right. I do not want to go into cross examining what did not work out. It is over for me.
Was the process of turning director from being a writer difficult?
Not at all. Perhaps I am the only writer who used to be present on all shooting days for all my films. It was my job to explain to the actors. So for me it was what I was doing in any case. I enjoy directing…
Life Partner is clashing with Kaminey, which is a very hyped film.
We really had no choice. Our film was supposed to release on the 1 May, but we had to delay it because of the strike. Any day is a good day, if your film is good.