I had heard a lot of things about Vidhu Vinod Chopra sir, so when he called me (to discuss a project), I was a little skeptical but also grateful for the opportunity. We hit it off in the first meeting itself. In fact, he showed me Broken Horses, which was in the editing stages at the time.
Our first project was a reboot of Parinda. It happens to be one of my favorite films of Vidhu sir. We worked on it for 5-6 months and the first draft looked good, but we had many disagreements with the second draft, so we decided to part ways. I decided to say goodbye and thank Vidhu sir for the chance —a move he had anticipated. Which is why, he kept 4-5 scripts in front of me on the same day, and asked me to pick one. I picked Wazir. It was called The Fifth Move then.
Little did I know at the time, that it was the script closest to Vidhu sir and he wanted to direct it himself. I am sure it wasn’t easy for him to part with the script, but he said that he wanted me to direct it.
One of the difficult things while shooting with big actors is the security arrangement. One has to plan in advance and beef up security before the shoot.
We had to shoot one shot in Jama Masjid, but the previous night, we had issues with permission, so we couldn’t carry out the shot. We then shot in one of old Delhi’s other mosques at the last minute. Working with Big B has been one of the biggest highlights for me. When I was three, and out for an evening at the beach with my family, I lost my way. My sister found me staring at a screen showing Muqaddar ka Sikandar. I've been besotted by Mr Bachchan ever since. It’s unreal that I have his number on my phone. When I receive his call, I automatically stand up. The thing with Mr Bachchan is, if he doesn’t agree with a shot, he will discuss it with you. He says, ‘I don't agree with you, but I will do it the way you want it’. And after giving the take, he'd give one more and say, 'now one for me'. Nine out of ten times, the take that he gave turned out much better.
— As told to Asira Tarannum...