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    I've two hours to put Bollywood on screen: Zoya Akhtar

    [Interview by Subhash K. Jha]
    Tuesday, September 14, 2004
    Daughter of Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani, sister of Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar is the girl with the impeccable credentials getting set to take an insider''s look at Bollywood with her directorial debut "Luck By Chance" starring Tabu.

    "Why Tabu? Tabu is excellent, that''s why! Frankly, you should ask her why she''s agreed to work with a nobody like me. I haven''t done anything to prove I''m worthy of directing someone so talented. Tabu is kick-ass."

    Zoya frankly admits Madhuri Dixit was the first choice. "She was approached. But certain things didn''t work out between us."

    "I waited a while for her. But the negotiations fell through. And that was for the best. Because now Madhuri is pregnant again and I wouldn''t have been able to make my film anyway. Now that I''ve got Tabu, I guess it''s all for the best," Zoya Akhtar told IANS in an interview.
    She describes "Luck By Chance" as an insider's look at Bollywood.
    "It's real. It will look at the industry and its people as they are. Everyone is always on the brink. And my film will have that kind of energy. I'll be looking at everyone from superstars to spot-boys... the whole gamut. Yes, it's very much a Bollywood movie. I'll look at the industry like never before.
    "Everyone I've met here is a character in my film, though not in any direct way. A lot of characters are amalgamations of several people I've met. At the end of the day I've just two hours to put all of Bollywood on screen."
    She says this one had to be her directorial debut. "I started other scripts. 'Luck By Chance' was the only one that worked. In between, we got busy with my brother Farhan's film. But my interest in 'Luck By Chance' never flagged."
    Besides Tabu, other big names are being finalized for the cast.
    "Though Tabu is in the cast, it isn't a female-oriented film. I'm not going to make films about female protagonists alone. It's so, so boring! People of both genders fascinate me."
    "Luck By Chance" will have real-life cameos by actors and journalists. "And not just recognizable faces. It could be a studio-hand who no one knows by name. Or a high-profile journalist whose picture appears in the papers every Sunday. In that sense 'Luck By Chance' would be like Robert Altman's 'The Player'."
    Why "Luck By Chance"? "It's such colloquial Mumbai phrase. Once people see the promos they'll know what it's about. If it still doesn't give the right signals, I'll add '...A Bird In Danger' or something to the title. But seriously, I am not changing the title. I really like it. It's perfect for the film."
    "Luck By Chance" is a musical with songs and dances, she says.
    "I start shooting in February 2005. Being part of a family of filmmakers is a double-edged sword. You can get your foot in the door. But that foot can also get caught in the door. If I do a bad job I'll be hammered. I'm nervous and excited. I've waited so long. In between 'Lakshya' happened and we all got busy with that. Farhan is not just the producer of 'Luck By Chance', he's writing the dialogues and he's also doing a cameo, playing himself."


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