From being a 'horny' writer of Grand Masti to a 'haraami' one in Main Tera Hero, what a transition!
Thanks for the words. Well, I would like to quote my own dialogue from Main Tera Hero – "Main dikhta hoon sweet innocent swami type ka lekin hoon bade haraami type ka". Grand Masti was a total mad sex comedy leaving nothing to imagination. It was my first 100 crore movie. A great achievement and even greater fun. And then to follow it up with Main Tera Hero was a huge challenge because it wasn't a sex comedy. It's my first film in two years that's not an 'A' certificate. It's genuinely funny without being vulgar and it's got the ultimate emperor of comedy – David Dhawan. The transition was quite emotional I would say because Varun Dhawan is like my younger brother. I've spent a lot of time with the Dhawan family since many years. I've been Rohit Dhawan's friend through years. So to see Varun speak my lines is unbelievable. I had never imagined that.
It must've been a child's play to write dialogues for Varun Dhawan, isn't it?
I've known Varun for years and he is an absolute sweetheart. He's got this fun, cute, smart, flirty image. But other than that he is an extremely obedient kid. I am slightly older to him but he still gives me that respect and then to write every dialogue for him was a big responsibility. I had to keep his talent in mind and at the same time stick to his character. But before it was a Varun Dhawan film, for me, it was a David Dhawan film and his films come with the obligation of humour – the lines have to be hilarious, the legacy has to be followed. Knowing Varun helped a lot but at the same time knowing the family for years made my job even tough. I had to deliver my best and I did. I had to re-think hundred times before writing the lines and Davidji is someone who won't say 'Action' till he is hundred percent sure of the lines. There were times when he didn't approve of the dialogues but then there were times when he would call the next day and tell me that the same lines made sense.
There's an interesting story you should know. The 'haraami' line was removed from the film because of its length. The day before the shoot, Varun called me. He had heard the scene a month before the shoot. He asked, "Where's that 'haraami swami' line?" I told him, "We cut it because of its length". He insisted on the line, he said it on the shoot and it worked. That's a presence of mind and that's what works in comedy.
Do you feel any actor can deliver the David Dhawan type of dialogues? I mean, Sanjay Dutt, Govinda, Salman Khan and now Varun Dhawan.
The beauty of Davidji's films are that right from Govinda or Salman or Sanjay Dutt, whichever actor has delivered those lines, the humor has been the trademark David Dhawan style. Every director has a certain style. Indra Kumar has his own style and so does Priyadarshan but Davidji believes more in situational humour and dialogue humour than gags. Varun has the potential of, other than his own identity, to roll into Salman and Govinda. He is this generation's most versatile actor. He can do any role in the book. He is the most complete actor. Varun Dhawan is the successor to Ranbir Kapoor I feel. He is born to act.
Have you done movies for emotional reasons?
I have done movies for emotional reasons. A lot of them. Any film that Sanjay Gupta does I do for emotional reasons. Any film that Indra Kumar does I do for emotional reasons. These are the directors who have given me work when I was at my lowest phase professionally and have backed my talent.
Do you think the title Main Tera Hero was apt?
The moment I heard the title Main Tera Hero, I was in love with it. It was also a derivative of the song 'Main Tera Hero' from Rohit Dhawan's movie Desi Boys. Destiny had no other plans. Everyone loved the title and it was bang on. The other title could've been Hero No 1 but Govinda has already done it.
If it's a super hit then Main Tera Hero will be your hat trick of hits.
I wish and pray to God that Main Tera Hero becomes my first hat trick of hits. And also my second 100 crore film. But I can only ask for it right now. The rest is in audience's hands on the day of the release. The good part about this film is that it has the potential to do superb business in single screens and in multiplexes. I want this film to work and become a super hit.
I have written for six actresses in Grand Masti. That's a record in itself. Till today all six catch me and beat me whenever they meet me (laughs). But Ileana and Nargis are both delights. Ileana is the quintessential heroine of the film and Nargis plays a spoilt brat. She has a crazy role. In one of the scenes she teaches Varun's character Seenu how to fire a rifle and while teaching him she is feeling him and cuddling him. Just then Varun delivers, "Aaj mujhe pata chala ki jab Dharamji Basanti ko pistol chalana seekha rahe the toh Basanti ko kaisa laga hoga". He is being groped by Nargis which was super fun.
Do you think the delay in Ungli's release will arouse more curiosity amongst fans?
Yes, Ungli has been delayed but what is amazing is that couple of week's back, on Saturday, when the world was partying, something trended on Twitter. It was #WeWantUngliFirstLook. Out of the blue, without any information given by the production house, Emraan Hashmi's fans started the trending and wanted their hero's first look. Such is his fan club all over India. Did you know that the duration of the Kaante's first promo hitting the theatre and its release was six and a half months apart? When Ungli hits the screens, it will be a hurricane. It is one of the finest films I've been a part of. Ungli is today's Rang De Basanti. Rensil D'Silva, Karan Johar and I will walk with our heads held high because this will be a part of great Indian cinema that will engage and entertain all generations. It's a very important movie for Dharma Productions.