Director Anthony D’Souza on his action bonanza Blue

First-time filmmaker Anthony D’Souza plumbs the depths of oceans off Bahamas for his action bonanza Blue. Have you finally wrapped up Blue? When is it releasing? We are nearly through with the shoot. I am headed for Bangkok with Lara Dutta for two days’ work and then I need eight more days to shoot Katrina Kaif’s song. Blue is scheduled to be released on August 13. Where did you find this deep-sea adventure, for it certainly is an alien concept here in India? I have always been fascinated by water and then I wanted to make a “never-seen-before” film – so it had to be a film shot in the ocean. I had to find a fresh setting and what better than an action adventure with real sharks, sting-rays and eels to the menacing great whites? Sounds scary! How did you protect your stellar cast from the oceanic wild life?
Wild animals pose no danger by themselves, unless provoked. In our case, we took ample precautions to ensure the safety of the cast and crew. There have been no injuries or mishaps. So which was the most spectacular and the most menacing of the oceanic beasts you shot with? I chose to shoot off Bahamas because the kind of sharks that I wanted are only found there. We have shot with real sharks – hammer-heads, reef sharks, great whites, manta rays and eels. While reef sharks are the gentlest and easiest to shoot with, the great whites that measure 15 to 18 feet are the most menacing and also the most spectacular. Tipped to be the most expensive Indian film ever made with a whopping budget of Rs 100 crore, what has been the most expensive aspect of Blue? I still won’t be able to give out the budget of the film as I am still shooting. The most expensive part of the film was the execution and implementation of action. We shot for 60 days in deep sea off Bahama Islands – of these, 15 days were for rehearsals and 45 days for the actual shoot. For the first time, the Indian audience will be treated to 25-30 minutes of underwater adventure. Our underwater DOP Pete Zuccarini is the man who shot Pirates Of The Caribbean, so the filming is flawless and spectacular. I hope I have brought the audience entertainment worth their money. How did you manage to find funding for this extravagant adventure as your first film? Also how did you convince Akshay Kumar and Sanjay Dutt to be a part of it? I approached Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd. with my script and they liked it right from the outset. My ad-films and music videos on the resume also worked well, I guess. I met Mr Dutt, Akshay and Zayed Khan, narrated them the script after which they were on. Really, I think that I am most fortunate. It must have something to do with my parents’ blessings because I am not much of a religious guy. Any particular reason for casting middle-aged heroes in this seemingly-youthful deep- sea adventure? Who’s the best swimmer from the cast? Blue is about betrayal and a treasure-hunt.
This is a film in which the characters are playing their age – Mr Dutt, Akshay, Zayed, Rahul Dev and Kabir Bedi in a guest appearance. Mr Dutt, who has a lung problem and is forbidden by the doctors to swim, insisted on doing each and every stunt himself. Akshay is ever-ready for any challenge and Zayed has been a swimmer ever since he can remember. Lara, on the other hand, trained for five months for the underwater action. But the best swimmer title goes hands down to Zayed Khan! How did you handle the ego tussle of Sanjay Dutt and Akshay Kumar? On the sets and off it, the two stars are like brothers. We used to read all those crappy reports in the media and laugh at those together. Who’s the heroine of the film – Lara or Katrina? Are you including an additional song in the film to assuage Katrina? Lara is the heroine of Blue and she plays Mr Dutt’s girlfriend and the film is based on their love story. Katrina Kaif, paired opposite Zayed, has a guest appearance in the film. Katrina’s song is a part of the script and is in the last portion of the film. Alright, so why cast Kylie Minogue? Apart from the hype, how does she help the film? I have been a great fan of Kylie’s. She has one song and some scenes in the film. She shot for eight days and she has some humorous and dramatic scenes with the entire cast. I found her to be very professional and down-to-earth. She’s a director’s actor. A R Rahman’s music is likely to be a big high for the film. What kind of music have you come up with? We have seven songs in the film and A R Rahman’s music this time is certainly not Indian, it’s very Western. Abbas Tyrewala and Mayur Puri have penned the lyrics. Is John Abraham a part of your next venture? My next film is a three-hero action film, also for Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision. John Abraham is certainly a part of it and I am hoping to cast Sonal Chauhan opposite him.

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