After giving four blockbusters in a row – Golmaal 3, Singham, Bol Bachchan and Chennai Express, Rohit Shetty’s name is not only synonymous with success (Ro-hit!) but is also one of the quintessential top names in the wish list of producers and actors in Bollywood today. As son of late fight master Shetty, though he predictably started his directorial journey with an action drama Zameen, today he’s carved a niche as the country’s darling at spinning (Rs 100 crores plus) laugh riots and action flicks. His brainchild, Singham has become a brand in itself and Shetty is hopeful that his next installment, Singhm Returns releasing this Independence Day will outshine its prequel. Rohit discusses his movie here
Most of your films are Rs 100 grosser and you’re one of the most successful directors. Does ROI (Return On Investment) affect you before you start shooting a film? How much does business affect you as a filmmaker?
Business is very important. When you make a film, you want recover your money. Earlier, when films did well, media never reported about the money movies made, instead they would mention about films completing 100 days, golden and silver jubilees. Now, people have started evaluating a film’s success in crores.
In an interview with Bollywood Celebden, Ajay Devgn mentioned that you and him unanimously decided to keep action scenes look real in SR…
After Singham, I realised films released later did the same kind of action. I started wondering what can I bring in new the same genre. When you see you’ll realize how realistic and different the action is in SR.
Some scenes from the promo suggest that Ajay has gone slightly loud to enact his character?
There’s an audience for that who love such scenes. There’s nothing wrong.
Considering your box office track record, do you ever feel that you got the pulse of the audience and can never go wrong?
The day I take my audience and success for granted, my career will be over. That’s never going to happen. Few days we were working on the final touches of the movie and believe me I was as nervous as I was during Golmaal. My doors are always open for my assistants and I do nothing in private. We sat and discussed and edited some scenes from the film which we all believed weren’t required.
Why is it only masala entertainers and not attempt other genres?
When I try to make a romantic film, it turns into Chennai Express. Most of my films are big budget and so I have to recover the money. I cannot cheat the audience saying that cinema is everything for me. Every penny is important for everyone. My films have a set audience and I cater to them and make films for them. Even during Singham I knew that 80 percent people will like it and 20 percent won’t like it and I was prepared for that. As a team we work on improving things in the same genre that my audience likes to watch. For me, PAN India audience is very important considering my movie budget.
Which actress do you think can do a female-oriented action flick?
I think Deepika Padukone can do great action sequences. She has a good body structure and flexibility. She can portray good action on cinema.
There are rumors about some ban on your film. Is that true?
A Hindu organization says that Singham beats up a baba and then salutes a mosque. The film is based on Mumbai police. Every year when there’s a procession out of Mahim dargah, Mumbai police takes the security control and this has been happening since 1932. We have shown that in the film. But they are projecting it like a Hindu-Muslim angle.
You’ve started producing films too. So will you be producing only the films you direct?
No, I’m starting a production house where we will be making other small budget and sensible films as well so that I’m not thrashed every time. We need right scripts and sensible directors for that.
What about the film with Shah Rukh Khan?
We will start it early next year.
Are you doing the next season of the action adventure show, Khatron Ke Khiladi?
Yes, the channel approached me and they want me to host the new season. It’s a different experience. I learnt a lot working with different crew and people belonging to different culture. We used to work around 18 hours a day but after pack up there was no stress whatsoever.
You mentioned earlier you are quite close to Amitabh Bachchan, can we expect a film with him?
I would love to make an action film with him but I’m still not getting the subject that will justify Big B’s presence.
Are you directing a film for Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions?
I’m doing a film with Karan and we share a good rapport but media doesn’t want it to be that way as reportedly Karan and I have had fallout recently.
Karan seems quite infatuated with movies and television lately in terms of hosting and shaking a leg on the dance reality show. Would you ever want to act?
No, I’m happy doing television. I get good money.
Starring Ajay Devgn and Kareena Kapoor, Singham Returns is releasing Aug 15 on Independence Day. Are you excited?