Dinesh Vijan: We are proud Armaan and Deeksha’s careers started with Illuminati Films

Dinesh Vijan, Saif Ali Khan’s business partner and creative producer of Illuminati Films, has been quite instrumental in churning out successful films starting with Love Aaj Kal, Cocktail, Agent Vinod and Go Goa Gone in the past and looking at the interesting lineup of films ahead such as Finding Fanny Fernandes featuring Deepika Padukone and Arjun Kapoor and Badlapur starring Varun Dhawan, Huma Qureshi and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, it seems there’s no stopping the man. Presently, Dinesh has been focusing all his energies on his Friday release, Lekar Hum Deewana Dil featuring debutant actors, Armaan Jain and Deeksha Seth and debutant director, Arif Ali (Imtiaz Ali’s brother). While talking to Bollywood Celebden, Vijan discusses why he’s confident of his new gamble and why will it pay off…

After working with established actors like Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, why did you decide to produce a film starring two newcomers?

For us it’s very simple. We chose a story that we really connect with and see if the people we work with and our energies are the same. We had a threshold now because till now we have made films with Saif (Ali Khan). Now we got Arif to direct and there’s a project with Varun, Nawazuddin and Huma Qureshi and we again have Happy Ending with Saif. So I think we are just growing and we are finding our place.

So you mean the script demanded new faces?

LHDD and the film’s story required two fresh faces because it’s about two young people who are in their 20s who makes mistakes and learn from it. It’s about two people of a generation that acts first and then thinks. So that sentiment required new faces and we are very happy to have found Armaan and Deeksha. I don’t know about stars and all but they are very promising actors. I thought it’s good to have a debutant director and two debutant actors and it worked for us. We can go wrong too.

You said you were not aware about Armaan’s background when he was signed for the film?

Yes, when I heard the film’s story, we (and director Arif) thought of signing fresh faces and then the search began. Abhishek Varman, who directed 2 States, his office HR suggested Armaan’s name and said that he has assisted Karan and seems to be promising. We took three auditions of him and he’s very much like his character in the film.

But was there a pressure of launching him because he comes from the Kapoor family? Did Kareena and Saif gave any creative inputs?

We talk about creative inputs and suggestions but ultimately it’s a race and we want to make a good film. None of these variables affect them. When you start working on a film, you know for the fact that you’ve worked honestly on the script, cast and everything that will make your product look better. That Armaan is Raj Kapoor’s grandson is there but on the day of release, he’s just Armaan and he has to prove himself. I’m glad Armaan has made the character look relatable. For that matter even Deeksha. We are proud that their journeys started with Illuminati Films. They are very promising actors. I don’t know the rest.

So you think all the money spent on these two debutants was worth it?

Absolutely.

How did you get AR Rahman on board? Was it tough to impress him or was Imtiaz been instrumental to get Rahman for the project?

It was through email. It’s the easiest thing we have done. Arif had emailed Rahman saab after which he narrated the story to him and Arif started crying during the last fifteen minutes. So in a way we cried our way out to get him on board. Rahman said yes because he cried. Rahman made things quite easy for us in the way that he delivered exactly to our brief and to our expectations. We create music that we like to hear and we hope that becomes popular. He has a history of experimenting.

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