Nagesh Kukunoor in a chat with Kabir Bedi


MUMBAI: From the moment he hit screens with his unique, deeply personal film Hyderabad Blues, Nagesh Kukunoor became an inspiration of sorts for filmmakers across India. Setting aside a career in chemical engineering, the young filmmaker did what few people manage to: plunging into uncharted territory to do what he was passionate about.


As his latest romantic comedy Bombay to Bangkok plays to audiences worldwide, he rewinds the clock, going back to when he first knew he wanted to make movies. This in a chat with Kabir Bedi on Director’s Cut. He is accompanied by actress Ayesha Takia in the interview to be aired 10 February on entertainment channel Zoom.


Although he has a reputation for being a bit reserved, Nagesh Kukunoor talks openly about his passion for cinema, and regards his success as the reason behind his isolation. Known to isolate himself for a month while working on a script, he admits to spending 12 to 16 hours a day on writing. And yet, he believes the best scripts are those written in 10 days. He recounts how Hyderabad Blues – which he made using all his savings – reinforced his belief in the legendary Alfred Hitchcock’s style of working that demanded planning everything before shooting.


Going down memory lane, Kukunoor shares how unhappiness in his earlier job motivated him to follow his passion. He describes his genre of filmmaking as ‘real-fiction’, and says the film Bollywood Calling is a reflection of his own life. He also gives interesting insights into the making of Iqbal, which met with much critical acclaim. Nagesh believes real joy comes from box office success, not awards. He admits to shelving scripts that aren’t produced in 30 days. Apparently, Iqbal originally revolved around the sport Malkham, but didn’t manage to interest buyers. Nagesh had the vision to foresee what would work, changed the subject to cricket, and the rest was history.


Dor, based on a social issue, also won him several accolades. The bubbly Ayesha Takia reveals how the film changed her life and credits Kukunoor with her success. Rapid Fire questions from Kabir Bedi make this show a must watch.