Making an explosive start

Deccan Chronicle.  | Lipika Varma

Entertainment, Bollywood

Tusshar Kapoor, who debuts as a producer with Laxmmi Bomb, speaks exclusively to DC

Tusshar Kapoor

With his recently established production house called Tusshar Entertainment House, actor Tusshar Kapoor has become a producer. The first film under his production banner is Laxmmi Bomb, a horror–comedy film that is a Hindi remake of the 2011-Tamil film Muni2: Kanchana. While the film missed a theatre release, it’s awaiting its OTT release on Disney Hotstar on November 9, 2020.

Written and directed by Raghava Lawrence, the film stars Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani in the lead. What also caught our attention about the film, in addition to the fact that it won’t have a theatrical release, is that the title of the film was trolled recently, with some talks around the love-Jihad angle, too. What were Tusshar’s reactions to all of it, we ask him, given he is just starting off in the field.

“I feel it would be unfair on my part to say anything regarding this because this film is director Raghava Lawrence’s baby, and he has already clarified about the title,” says Tusshar. “He’s already stated that the original Tamil film’s title has Kanchana in it, which means gold — a form of Goddess Laxmi. And because for the Hindi film he wanted to choose a title that the audiences could relate to, he chose to go with Laxmmi. Then, as the film’s shooting progressed, and we realised it was turning out to be a cracker of a story, he finalised the title as Laxmmi Bomb.”

But what about the OTT release of the film? Does it bother him that his Bollywood debut production will not have a theatrical release?

“Not really,” says Tusshar matter-of-factly, “Because even back in March, when the theatres were shut down, we’d made a mental note of it. While we stressed out a little back then, all of us decided jointly that we would release the film on the OTT platform, so no, today I am not regretting the decision at all.”

On the contrary, Tusshar even believes the film will see a wide release given that it is releasing on Disney Hotstar.

“Additionally, it’s a festive season, and the film is a huge content-oriented, family entertainer, that people are looking forward to watching with their family members. So in all, I am looking at all of it rather positively. We are all keeping our fingers crossed because we believe it can be a game changer. So also, there is no room for regret,” adds Tusshar confidently.

Inspirations or sibling rivalries at hand?

With such proximity by blood to the Queen of Content, Ekta Kapoor, we can’t help but wonder if Tusshar, like her, would launch newcomers. In fact, does he even see her as a threat or competition?

At the question, Tusshar first lets out a loud chuckle. And then he says, “Of course I can’t compete with my sister. She has launched hundreds of talents from both big cities and small towns. She has gone through a wide spectrum and has actually used the television media to give a new lease of life to many young strugglers and wanna-be actors who came to the city hoping to become actors. The ecosystem she created even provides roles for many senior actors who were not getting work in films. Many of them are working with her on the Alt Balaji Platform too. So, no, I can’t compete with her on this regard. Moreover, some stories demand newcomers while some demand established stars and actors. So you have to balance it out. But in whatever small ways I can, I hope to offer opportunities to newcomers, too.”

That being said, Tusshar still coproduces with Balaji Telefilms, but he is not part of the management as Ekta and their mother, Shobha Kapoor, handle everything.“I am just the promoter. It’s my home and family and while I have made many films with Ekta, Laxmmi Bomb just came my way unplanned and I decided to produce it under my banner. I realised no one could direct it better than Raghava Lawrence would,” he says.

Ritualistic eccentricities

As we end our interaction, we ask Tusshar if he has any rituals, religious or superstitious, that he follows, especially given the predictable stress before his film’s release. “I do follow certain rituals, but I am not doing anything before the release of Laxmmi Bomb,” he says. Then after a moment’s thought, he adds, “I don’t have any such superstitions apart from having changed the spelling of my name although that was because my family believes in numerology.