By Subhash K. Jha, Bollywood Hungama News Network
There are many reasons why directors make sequels. But have we ever heard of a sequel because the director has fallen in love with the cast?
This is precisely what has happened with Sudhir Mishra during the making of Tera Kya Hoga Johnny. "I've worked with the most temperamental of stars. When I did Calcutta Mail, I was told Manisha Koirala would be a problem. She was fine. Then during Chameli, it was said that Kareena Kapoor was a problem. On the contrary, she stood in the sun and studio rain for two hours at a stretch in that garish prostitute's saree and makeup without complaining. I've been singularly lucky with actors. In my entire career I've never had any problem with any actor."
But the Johnny experience takes the cake. "It's an ensemble cast. Kay Kay Menon, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Karan Nath and Soha Ali Khan gave me more than any bunch of actors ever. They all knew the new boy Sikandar had the main role. They didn't mind it at all. In fact Neil who I'm horrified to read has supposedly given me a hard time by refusing to dub, was the epitome of co-operation. He came to the shootings even when he wasn't required. He knew he didn't have a pivotal role. But he sat on the sets, came to the editing and even re-shot for two days just before left for the US."
So pleased was Sudhir Mishra with Neil's work that he invited Neil's father singer Nitin Mukesh and mother to see the film. "Do you know Nitin Mukesh assisted Hrikesh Mukherjee? So he's half a filmmaker himself. When he saw Tera Kya Hoga Johnny, Nitin Mukesh was bowled over. He took us all out for dinner. Neil, Karan, Soha (whom I had worked with before) all became a part of my family. All the actors are splendid in my film. In fact, Nagesh Kukunoor saw Karan Nath in my film and signed him for Bemisal which he's shooting right now in Rajasthan. And when I had a problem with my producer, Karan's father came forward to help with not just his son's but Neil's payments. And Neil, whose 2 lakh rupees were pending, offered to forego the money. He told me to use it to complete the film. Tell me, which director gets to work with such actors? I'm blessed." Sudhir's voice brims over with emotion.
And now Sudhir is so enamored of his 'Johnny' family he doesn't want to let go. "I want to carry the story forward now. There's room for the characters to go forward. And I don't want to lose the family that I've made during the making of Tera Kya Hoga Johnny. Not yet."
Stories that Neil has been troublesome bother and amuse Sudhir Mishra. "They say he's refusing to dub. But Tera Kya Hoga Johnny is in sync sound! There's no dubbing required. Neil is almost like a son to me now."