Exclusive Interview: Neeraj Pandey Speaks About His Baby

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Neeraj-Pandey

Neeraj Pandey is a reluctant interviewee! Beyond work he prefers to be left alone. It was quite difficult reaching out to him, that too on the evening before his film Baby would release across theatres. After directing three films, does he feel nervous before a release? Well, his attitude reflected loads of calm confidence and he seemed to rather enjoy this phase rather than sulk in uncertainty. A person of few words otherwise got candid in an exclusive interview with Business of Cinema and bared his heart on his journey as a film maker.

  1. Two of your films are based on terrorism!

True. Both A Wednesday and Baby deals with terrorism. But the point of views for both films are pretty different. A Wednesday was more about a common man and his sensitivities when it comes to something as aghast as terrorism. Baby is an action-packed thriller.

  1. You are working with Akshay Kumar once again. Comment.

After Special 26, we weren’t much in touch. By the time the script for Baby came up, he seemed to be the first ideal choice for the character. Of course I had the luxury of experience, having worked with him earlier. I knew what works for him and how, and what doesn’t. When we narrated the story to him, he was as excited as I was, towards joining hands once again.

  1. What are some of the qualities of Akshay Kumar that makes the director’s job easier?

He is a fantastic listener, which makes you feel well attended. Also, he is much disciplined and extremely hard working. You are at peace working with him.

  1. It is pretty unusual that a film has six villains! Your take on that?

They are some characters, and their kind of people exists in different parts of the society or in different parts of the world! You can name them villain but that doesn’t make them any worse than what they are. I won’t brand them as villains. Rather I would call this an ensemble cast that adorns my film!

  1. Tell us about your growth as a director!

From A Wednesday to Baby, it had been a fulfilling journey. I am constantly learning every day, with the films that I see, books that I read, people I encounter, events I experience. Of course being a part of the film industry I have come across like-minded and different-minded people with whom I could discuss and debate my thoughts. That helped me grow. After a sensitive film like A Wednesday, I tried a comic drama with Special 26, and now we are about to release a thriller with Baby!

  1. Your films are usually male-dominated. Would we find Taapsee and Madhurima take sufficient charge rather than just a screen presence?

I never prefer to have someone just for the sake of it. Both Taapsee and Madhurima are hardcore professionals and they have excellent contributions in the film. The best part was that they knew their job pretty well and working with them was a great experience.

  1. Tell us about your childhood. How did you come to film making?

I am a Bihari by origin, but I was born and brought up in Kolkata. I came to Mumbai in 2000. Those days I was making documentaries. Around this time I formed a production company called Quarter Inch Productions which did ad films and documentaries. Soon after our production house Friday Filmworks happened, which produced my debut film, A Wednesday, in collaboration with UTV.

 

Neeraj Pandey’s Baby, starring Akshay Kumar, Rana Daggubati, Anupam Kher, Danny Denzongpa, Taapsee Pannu, Mikaal Zulfiqar, Madhurima Tuli, Sushant Singh, KK Menon and others. Business of Cinema wishes the entire team an excellent run in box office.

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