Directors Raj & DK don’t need an introduction anymore. Their commercially and critically directorial ventures like Shor In The City (2011) and Go Goa Gone (2013) have fetched him the amazing progression from being an unknown director duo to being two of the most sought-after filmmakers in Bollywood. Though their last outing, Happy Ending (2014), didn’t perform as per expectations, they garnered praises for their unique storytelling and quirky filmmaking. Now they are all set with their new outing A Gentleman, starring the hot and handsome Sidharth Malhotra with sizzling Jacqueline Fernandez. Before the movie makes an impressive entry in cinemas on 25th August, our correspondent sits down with the director duo for a candid conversation. Below is an edited transcript of the interview.
What your upcoming film A Gentleman is all about and why it is titled so?
We wanted to do an original action film that we don’t do anymore. The idea was to make a fun action film, not a dramatic one. We all enjoy watching fun action Hollywood films. We had a few here in Bollywood as well. But lately, they haven’t been there. So, we had a story that we wanted to tell. But when Fox (Star Studios) came in and asked us if we had a script in action space, we proposed it to them, not as an action film but as an action comedy film.
When you make an action film like A Gentleman, casting plays an integral part. So how did you guys come about casting Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez for the film?
We wanted to make a very young action film. Both of us think that Sidharth is perfect for action. He’s got the physique. He’s got the agility. He’s willing to train hard. We were surprised that he hadn’t done an action film before. It was a great platform for him. So, Sidharth was a very natural cast for the movie. He is sweet and has this whole gentleman thing going for him. His boy-next-door look also helped a lot in his finalization. He is very hard-working also.
Exact elements worked out for Jacqueline also. She is a great fit for an action film. She is a right cast for a cool action film like this. And she also fits the NRI label pretty well, in a cool way, for our film because she plays a girl living and working in Miami. So, it was an easy casting process.
Was A Gentleman the first title which you guys thought of or there were some other titles also?
Initially, we had a completely different title for the film, but that was for both of us only. But when we started shooting, we called the film Reload. That was the working title. But it does not make sense for a movie to be called Reload. Even though we got used to it, it somehow didn’t sound good. It sounded like a sequel. People might think ‘Load kab aaya?’
We always wanted a title that describes a nice guy or a gentleman. So, we decided to go with A Gentleman, a title which is based on the character. We could have called it A Nice Guy, but A Gentleman is more appealing.
Your last film Happy Ending had Saif Ali Khan playing a double role, but you don’t portray double roles in a conventional manner.
In Happy Ending, that guy was in a way, not even a real person. If you have watched the film, you would have noticed that nobody sees him, nobody reacts to him and nobody interacts with him. Even in the party, he is walking around and drinking but nobody talks to him. So basically it could be a figment of Saif’s character’s imagination. That was the whole idea. In this film, of course, both of them are real. They are fighting, kicking and falling and all that.
We think it goes back to the movies we used to watch in schools and college. Whenever there were two Shah Rukh Khans and two Amitabh Bachchans, we were like ‘We want to see this film’. So it comes from that fascination. I don’t think we have any specific interest in double roles. Moreover, it’s not an easy thing to do. It takes a lot of efforts to get two characters in a frame and all.
There were reports that a sequel to Go Goa Gone was in the pipeline. Are you guys on board?
Yes, we are doing the project. We are working on it. We, in fact, have the first draft of the script ready. We are still working on the logistics, though. There are a lot of companies involved.
Will the sequel retain the same cast?
It will retain the same cast. But we have to now talk to a couple of other people also if we can add them in the film. We have written a couple of new characters. That casting is needed to be done. We will talk to them once this film is done and see who is interested in doing a crazy film with us.
Saif Ali Khan is on or not?
Saif is on. He is a fundamental part of the film. He is co-producing it as well.