Looks like you have brought in all the 'masti', fun and 'mazaa' together in one riotous affair. However, does the film primarily play as an array of gags and funny episodes?
There is a story in there of course. It is a huge clash of ideals which forms the basis of the story. It is all treated in a very humorous manner though. There are no serious moments whatsoever even if there is a conflict in there. In the middle of this all there is a lot of comedy as well as the romantic elements.
Has the film been actually designed as a sequel per se? Or is it mainly a franchise affair with altogether different characters and setting?
No, we have not tried to take the story forward from the last time. We have just taken out the three principle characters from the first one while retaining their relationship. So yes, we have a father and his two sons. Sunny is still a straight forward guy while Dharamji and Bobby are two conmen. Unfortunately Sunny doesn't know that they are back to their business. He believes that they have reformed. When they meet, the problems begin.
Sunny is someone who is known for his action image. Did you have to go out of your way to extract comedy out of him?
I feel Sunny is the easiest person to handle. He works on a different formula altogether. He wants his character to be clear because he won't do anything that a character won't do. He wants to feel the character and in case of YPD2, he knew exactly what his character demanded.
I guess you also have a personal equation with Sunny, given the fact he was the central protagonist in your debut Bollywood affair Zor.
Yes, and now I have explored different styles with Sunny, right from action to comedy. He likes to shoot early and hence he used to be the first person on the sets. So early morning I would work with Sunny and then later in the day, I would shoot with Bobby and Dharamji. If I had to do something slapstick then Bobby could pass on very well. He has got into this comic room very well. On the other hand Dharamji has always been a rockstar.
The thing about actors is that you need just one Friday to see a turnaround. There are so many films that he has carried alone. Sometimes you go through a phase which is bad but that doesn't stop him from being a good actor. In my Ek – The Power of One, he was a brooding Bobby. Now in YPD 2 he is being light and open. I have given him a lot of freedom here. He has carried off the part very well and is looking hundred bucks. He is looking like a Greek God. When I saw these three Deols for the first time together, I could see three very handsome men.
There was an interim period for you though which wasn't very handsome professionally. While Click didn't click, your foray into production wasn't successful either. How did you pull yourself up?
See, I always wanted to promote new talent. I realised though that without backing of a good distribution house, there is no point in making films. Reason being that if a film is not promoted right then the whole work goes waste. Unless there is big corporate or distribution house involved, there is no point in making any number of films. Hopefully things would change now and there would be people who would want to exploit my films. For the time being I have kept production on the backburner though. I just produced a Malayalam film intermittently.
As a director, what happens from this point on?
We are working on Cheers and the writing process is on. It would need some time though as we want to re-look at the script and make changes if required. The film is a tribute to Dharamji.
What do you feel about the prospects of Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 though?
I will tell you something. When Yamla Pagla Deewana was being made, not many were hopeful about it. Suddenly it's promo came and everything changed immediately after. Hence for me, the first big tension was to have my promo of YPD 2 connect with the audience. It was really scary when we released it. Once it was accepted, I felt a lot easier and relaxed. You can expect a lot more from the film when compared to the promo. This is a film which should do double the business of YPD.