Bejoy Nambiar’s earlier directorial ventures like Shaitan and David have become cult favourites. He now enters the big star territory with his new Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Khan thriller, Wazir. Excerpts from an interview:
Wazir is your first film to boast of big names like Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan Akhtar. Was it difficult to work with stars?
It’s very overwhelming and intimidating when you work with such a star cast. But at no point did they make me feel like a newcomer or less experienced. I had to forget that I am directing Big B and Farhan to do justice to what Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Abhijat Joshi have written. I feel fortunate that I am getting to work with such brilliant people -- Vidhu Vinod Chopra writing, Raju Hirani editing and Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan Akhtar acting! It’s been a great learning course for me.
But did this result in you facing pressure to measure up?
Yes absolutely, because the stars come on board believing in your vision of making the film. But pressure is always there whether you make a film with a big star or a newcomer.
By default, you want your film to do well so that it will help all the others who have worked hard on the film. Fortunately, when you get support from people like Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Raju Hirani it becomes easier to do good work.
What was your first interaction with Amitabh like?
The first thing the Big B did when we met was crack a joke! I was completely taken aback. He does not let his stardom overpower you; he is overtly and ridiculously humble. He makes you feel so comfortable.
Since Farhan Akhtar is also a director, did that make things easier or difficult?
In fact it is a plus point that he is also a director … if there was anything needed he would lend his hand and we would get the scenes right. Farhan has worked really hard in this film and performed brilliantly. He is great actor, very professional. The Amitabh-Farhan jodi is great in the film .
The film has taken four-five years in its scripting stage. Did you ever feel you were losing time?
No. Something as good as this takes time; you can’t make such films within a year or so.
A lot of detailing and sketching of characters goes behind it. People think story writing is quite easy but it isn’t, there is lot of thinking that goes behind each character of the film. But once the script is ready, the work gets easier. So I don’t regret the time lost … I think Wazir is releasing at the best time.
The film is releasing in September … why the delay once again?
We have yet to edit the film; we sat on our editing seats now. Once it’s done, we will finalise the date as well.
The trailer of the film opened several cards and showed John Abraham and Neil Nitin Mukesh. Do they have important roles in the film?
Yes, we opened the cards but they play pivotal roles in the film even though they are special appearances.
You will enjoy seeing them in the film … I can guarantee that.