Don is releasing soon….What’s the feeling like?
I am feeling excited, nervous, anxious all three. The film is complete, and people have seen it. They have liked the film. That’s a positive start. But I am really really looking forward to watching it with people.
Comparisons have already started with Mr Bachchan’s Don with split screen on news channels…
‘Don’ is an extremely dear film to all of us. A comparison becomes fair only when the people have seen the other film. Any kind of comparison on the media level can not be justified unless you’ve seen both the things to it. People have nostalgic, emotional attachment to the original Don. Any comparison to the original is slightly not justified till they haven’t seen the film.
Lots of situational things have changed like the diary with a disc…So, how did you plan what has to be changed?
The film had to be adapted to today’s time. A lot has changed since 1978 when the original was released. Technology has changed, information is more easily available. So, I had to be conscious and adapt according to today’s time and sensibility.
A few new dialogues have come in while a few original remain…So how did you decide which ones to keep?
When I had made up my mind that this is the movie I want to do next, while writing I wrote down first what was about the original ‘Don’ that had driven me into thinking of redoing it. Some of them were the dialogues, the background music, ‘Khaike’, ‘Yeh Mera Dil’. And I wrote all of it as a fan of the movie. For me this remake was a fan’s approach. I knew what elements I wanted to see if this movie is made today. Certain dialogues have been retained while some dialogues have been written keeping the sensibilities of the dialogues of the original.
Shahrukh looks good in menacing characters…So how mean he is in Don?
Shahrukh has an amazing ability to look good when he looks bad. When he is playing a bad guy, he has a great confidence about himself. He is so comfortable with who he is. He is very sure with what he wants to do. He is very sure about what he is saying and what he is doing. And that really works for this character which has a design. When you play a romantic character you are trapped in the circumstances. But these kind of roles give a plot, a method as this is quite close to what he is. His confidence, clarity of thought comes through in this character.
Priyanka Chopra seems to have worked hard on playing Zeenat Aman…
There is something that Priyanka has in her personality that reminds me of Zeenat ji. She has a great mix of being glamorous, sophisticated and having an appeal that cuts across the board.
She also took a few lessons in martial arts…
She came with notes, she said wanted to learn martial arts. She had done a lot of home work, about her look, she was very involved. She was very very into it. She rehearsed, learnt how to ride a bike.
Music is doing well…Except for a bit of criticism of remixes though…
Extremely happy with the way music is doing in India as well as overseas. My music company is happy. I retained ‘Khaike’ and ‘Yeh Mera Dil’ as I felt ‘Don’ is incomplete without these two songs. When we sat with Shankar-Ehsan-Loy, we decided to have an element of that era in the music. We wanted it to be retro and cutting edge sound. As for remixes…The n ‘Yeh Mera Dil’ is sung an octave below to create that seductive feel.
There have been rumours that ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ is being remade…
I don’t know how much it is true. But if someone is planning to remake the film then as Excel we would have been approached to get the remaking rights of. There’s nothing wrong in remaking. There is a certain procedure that one should follow. Like we are remaking ‘Don’ then we’ve approached the producer and get their consent. I would not consider anything a remake if it is made without producer’s consent. I would call it plagiarism. As far as I know ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ is not being remade, it is being plagiarized.
‘Dil Chahta Hai’ has become a cult film…How do you look back at it now?
I feel detached from it at one level and then at another I feel it is the closest thing to me. It’s very difficult thing to explain. That movie represents to me a time in my life. A very cherished time in my life that I will never ever forget. And it remains extremely dear to me.
What next after ‘Don’?
There’s a film that we’ll be releasing in January. It’s called ‘Honey Moon Travels Pvt. Ltd.’. We start another film at the end of March with Hrithik and Kareena directed by Zoya. I am also traveling to Venice on 31st of this month for ‘Fakir’ where I am acting.