Sajid Nadiadwala On His Rapport With Salman Khan-Akshay Kumar, Standing By Tiger Shroff, And Of Course, Chhichhore- EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Chhichhore producer Sajid Nadiadwala spoke at length about his upcoming film, his rapport with superstars like Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and launching talent like Tiger Shroff and Ahan Shetty

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Sajid Nadiadwala On His Rapport With Salman Khan-Akshay Kumar, Standing By Tiger Shroff, And Of Course, Chhichhore- EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
Nitesh Tiwari’s Chhichhore hits theatres tomorrow.  Yours truly reviewed the film and rated it 4 stars. It's a lovely, emotional film. Please don't go by the trailer which dwells largely on chhichhorapanti. The movie is far beyond the trailer. Sajid Nadiadwala (producer) and Nitesh Tiwari (director) have hidden the plot in the trailer.

In a candid conversation with Nadiadwala, we got to know his perspective on various issues in the industry. Of course, we spoke a lot about Chhichhore and he told us that he is confident that "it is one of his best films till date".

Speaking of his rapport with Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar, Nadiadwala said, “There was a time when mere saath sirf Salman rehta tha in the 90s- whether it was Jeet, Judwaa or Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega- that was when I made one film at a time. Then, when I decided to make two films at a time, Akshay Kumar entered my life. We have been school friends. Slowly but surely, I started getting more scripts on my table. My journey in Bollywood had started to get better. Cinema was my passion and it still is."

Here are the excerpts from the full interview, that followed:

What are the things you see in a script before producing the film?
It should just connect. Mujhe lagna chahiye hai ki yeh picture main dekhne jaun. I feel that I have also changed a little with time. I have kids who are grown up, I learn from them too. When I go into their room, I see what they're watching, what they like, what they don't like.  With time, things change. I take all this into account. And I followed the same route for Chhichhore too.

Go on...
Actually, I was discussing this film before Nitesh Tiwari completed Dangal. He narrated a small idea to me, which he somehow felt I wouldn’t like. A similar happened during Highway. Most of the directors feel that I’m connected to Kick, Housefull and Baaghi series- only films which are larger than life.

chhichhore movie review

Do you think Chhichhore will live up to expectations?
This film is going to be 100 times better than the audiences’ expectations. When they see the film, they will be surprised that the trailer didn’t do justice to the film. Kuch filmein aise hoti hai jinko trailer justice nahin de pata.

How much of say you had in the casting of Chhichhore?
Everyone cast was a mutual decision, but yes, we wanted to tell the story immediately. So, we didn’t want to go to people who would take time since they have date issues. So yeah, that's how the cast of Chhichhore fell into place.

If given the time and choice, would you have chosen a bigger star for this film?
I don’t know how it would have then sustained so much. As I said, I was told this before Dangal. The time was right now I felt, and we just went ahead.  There are some somethings  you want to do them from your heart and you don't want to wait once you've set your heart strongly on them. Chhichhore is one such.

So you went with a relatively younger actor, Sushant Singh Rajput. But tell me, do you think the time has come for some senior actors stars to strictly play their age?
They can do whatever they want. What’s important is the story. If the content is good, nobody will ask questions. They are all looking good, they are still training for 4 hours daily. So, they have to decide what suits them. With so much content coming up, people have many options no doubt.

How many changes do you make in a script after you like it?
I’m a hands-on producer alright but I know my limitations. There are two kinds of films which I make, one that I teach and others that I learn. Jo films mein main teach karta hoon, ek line nahi jayegi mujhse pooche bina. I’m generating new talent so I need them to take my experience. At the same time, where there is Nitesh, Kabir Khan or an Imtiaz Ali, I have my protocol- I ask permission before entering the edit room, kyunki main wahan se seekhta hoon. So where I’m a student I behave like a student, and where I’m a teacher I behave like one.

You nurture new talent really well and stand by them, say for example, Tiger Shroff...
It is unfortunate that Tiger's films outside my company haven't worked. He’s a talent who should not be limited to our company. He should be grabbed by all the good directors.

And now, you are launching Ahan Shetty soon...
Speaking of Ahan, I feel fortunate to be the sole filmmaker one to launch the father and son both. I think I must be the only producer in India, barring the Kapoors, who launched the son and father both.

Do you think Ahan is similar to his dad, Suniel Shetty?
Suniel was not so confident. This guy is confident, he has learned from an international school, then he has even undergone training from Mukesh Chhabra.  Suniel was raw. He was more of a businessman, this boy is creatively inclined.

You have worked with senior actors- be it Suniel Shetty, Sunny Deol, Jackie Shroff and many others. You are now seeing their kids, who don’t have the typical mannerisms that the 80- and 90s heroes or their fathers had, which in fact was their USP. These youngsters don't even want to try going in that lane. Is it a boon or a bane?
If the youngsters of today were there in that time, they would not have worked. Uss zamaane mein attitude tha, arrogance tha -lekin woh abhi nahin chalega. Tastes have changed and we need to accept that. Mentality has changed and we need to respect that. Today, it’s more about the content.

As a filmmaker do you believe in following trends?
We get stories on our table as per trends only, or let's say, largely.

Does it annoy you when you see so much of herd mentality? For example, Mission Mangal has clicked and bet you will get 10 scripts of a similar kind...
Nope, I never get annoyed. We just have to be careful that when we make a certain kind of cinema, we make it with the right person holding the directorial reins. Chhichhore or a Highway cannot be made with a newcomer at the helm. You need an experienced person.

Coming back to Chhichhore, tell us more... 
As I said earlier, today's youth has changed and their tastes are different. So, today I took a cue from a lot of youth around me, so much so that I even observed my two sons-Subhan and Sufyan and touched upon what they read, watch, how they think, how they discuss, what is their point of view, their mindset. Keeping all that into account, Chhichhore turned out to be a subject that consequently got  fleshed out and began to grow on me.

Nitesh Tiwari says that it’s a reflection of his college days. You said that you observed your 10 and 15 year old sons before embarking on this one. But don’t you think it's a bit too bold for a 10-year old?
Your question is right but that would tantamount to deprivation.  I would take the classic example of Kabir Singh which was watched by 14-15 year olds (despite being given an A certificate). Believe me,  as I said earlier, Chhichhore is one of the best films I have ever made.

Image Source:- instagram/nadiadwalagrandson/ahan.shetty/suniel.shetty/pinterest/
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