I need to prove myself, says Arbaaz Khan

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By Hindustan Times

Arbaaz Khan is eagerly awaiting the audience’s verdict on his directorial debut Dabangg 2, releasing later this month. Though he’s found his calling in direction, Arbaaz dons many hats since he is also acting in and producing the sequel.

In a chat, he talks about directing brother Salman, taking the story ahead and making tons of money.

Direction is a big step. Was it instinctive?
It was by design. I started my production house with the idea of directing one day. I had earlier assisted Mahesh Bhatt during Naam (1986) and Jurm (1990), and when acting came I thought I would direct later. I knew my acting experience would help me in direction.

But for a first timer, there is always anxiety and, above all, Dabangg is a franchise loved by all and the fans are expecting a lot from Dabangg 2. It has to bring in those numbers, so there are challenges. So, either I can buckle under pressure or prove myself. I kept my focus and made the movie I wanted to make.

You are acting, producing and directing the film. Did it get overwhelming?
Yes, it’s not easy. Next time I will eliminate one factor at least. The first time around, I was thrown into the deep end of the pool and it was a little too much. I had to keep calm and composed and do my best. I am mindful of the legacy of Dabangg (2010) and this is my take on the film.

Certain people feel that the promos have a Dabangg déjà vu.We talked a lot to figure out how different we should be. If Dabangg starts looking like the Golmaal or Dhoom franchises, then people wouldn’t be able to connect with it.

The character of Chulbhul Pandey is the same, so he will have the same look, love interest and style. I have upped the scale, made it more extravagant with the same essence. I have to find newness in the same premise. People are loving the promos, which is why it has generated a great pre-release buzz.

Will you continue to direct only Salman for your other too?
I feel direction is my calling and I should have done it long ago. This was not a fly-by-night scenario. I will direct films be it my own productions or outside. It’s not like I am here only to direct Salman. Though he’s my brother, he is a busy actor and will be available only after two years. Under my banner, I plan to produce more films with young directors.

It was reported that D2 is already sold for R180 crore. Are you looking at the Rs. 200 crore box-office mark, set by Salman’s Ek Tha Tiger?
Why Rs. 200 crore, why not Rs. 300 crore? For me, the bottomline is that the film should do well. Such figures keep appearing in newspapers, but I am not into them.

Is Dabangg 3 next?
When a movie is made, you toy with many ideas and a prequel to Dabangg is one of them. Let’s see how it can be developed.

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