Imran Khan, who is known as Bollywood's chocolate boy, made his debut as a lead actor with "Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na" in 2008. He bagged Filmfare Best Male Debut award for his role of Jai Singh Rathore, the most non-violent Rajput ever.
After "Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na", Imran went on to explore different genres and was seen doing intense and action roles. And now he is back with another love story "Katti Batti" directed by Nikhil Advani.
"Katti Batti" marks the return of Imran on big-screen after a break of two years. In the love story, Imran plays the role of Maddy, an architect, and has been paired opposite Kangana Ranaut, who plays the role of Payal.
In an exclusive interview with IBTimes India, Imran explains how "Katti Batti" is different from other romantic comedy movies and how fatherhood has changed his life.
"Katti Batti" is not a usual rom-com, so what is so special or different about this film?
The difference between "Katti Batti" and other films is that other films are romantic films, but "Katti Batti" is about love and not romance. See romance is a very beautiful thing its all in the beginning of the relationship. Pehli bar aap kisi ladki se milte hai (You meet a girl for the first time) and then its all wining and dining, candle light dinner, roses and all. That is romance, but once you are in an actual relationship of three years five years, seven years – In Katti Batti they are in a relationship for seven years – at that point the romance dies and reality of a relationship sets in. There are responsibilities, the difficulties, the fights and real love is when despite all of that you still want to be with other person. Wo muje pagal karti hai, tang karti hai, ladti hai lekin uske baad bhi (she drives me crazy, troubles me and fights with me) I still love her and want to be with her. That is love.
What are your expectations from "Katti Batti"?
I never know what to expect from films. The reality is you never know what people will like or what they will not like. All you can do is make a film that you believe in, you are happy, you are proud.
Do you think that box office numbers should be used to measure the success of any film?
Of course, it is important. The fact is that movies are a good business and somebody is investing money in it, and people who are taking responsibility must provide returns.
This is the first time you are working with Kangana Ranaut, tell us about your experience.
Kangana has been wonderful to work it. She is someone who cares so much about her craft, she is also driven to do more to do better herself. I really respect her.
With two hit movies -- Queen and Tanu Weds Manu Returns – Kangana is on top of her career now, do you feel any pressure of that?
No, off course not. Why? If you are working with good people then you should make good use of it.
Tell us about the stop motion video of 24-hour long kissing scene in "Katti Batti"
See, basically it involves shooting everything frame by frame by frame, so in between frames you have to move. It is very tricky; we shot that to 'Lip to Lip' song and between that every time we had to kiss and hold it while the props moved around and the set rotated around us. It is a very labour intensive procedure, very very painstaking, as we have to move by fraction of an inch every time. If you move in wrong direction, if you move too much, if you position changes the entire continuity goes and the entire shot we have to start from the beginning again.
So it's a very very technically precise song. It is a very cool technique, I think it has added great value and it is cool to see, but yeah it was pain when we were shooting it.
Any other Bollywood actress you would like to kiss on-screen?
Ahh… I do not really think in that sense. I think we have very juvenile view of kissing in our country.
Nikhil Advani's "Hero" is releasing a week before your film. Do you think it will have any impact (positive or negative) on "Katti Batti"?
Well, the fact that both the films are directed by same director I don't think audience is aware of it. Because generally in my experience aam janta (common man) does not even know what a director does, they know lead actors and songs. So I am never worried about that because firstly they are so different in genre and tone that the audience doesn't realise it's been over lapped. Add to that fact that currently the way our market or industry is going there is at least one release every Friday toh agar "Hero" movie na hota toh it would be something else. (even if it wasn't Hero, there would have been something else).
Nowadays the nature of the business is such that you release your film on a Friday and if you are very very lucky you get a solo release for that Friday par uska yeh matlab nahi hai (that doesn't mean) there won't be any movie before or after that.
Is direction on your wish-list?
Very much so. I went to film school and trained as a writer and director and I consider that my main competency. It is something I enjoy and want to do, but the funny thing is that I do not feel ready for it yet. When I was 22 years old I graduated from film school and I had all the confidence in the world when I thought I am going to change the face of cinema. But when I started working and got to experience the life on a film set, I actually don't know anything. At 22, I thought I would change the way movies are made and now I am 32 and I still think that I do not know anything. I have to learn a lot and practice a lot.
Will you direct Aamir Khan in future?
I do not know. It all depends on what kind of film, character or script it is. If he suits it then I will cast him, but in our family, we do not work like that ki first you do the casting and then you write a script.
Lastly, how has fatherhood changed your life?
It has made it very very easy to prioritise things, because the way I look at things now is different. If anything I do that takes me away from my family, it has to be really worth it.