"I think the interval scene was the most difficult sequence to shoot" - Siddharth Anand
After his debut with Salaam Namaste, Siddharth Anand released his second film with Yash Raj Film last week, Bachna Ae Haseeno. After receiving rave reviews for his film, Bollywood Hungama caught up with Siddharth to hear about behind the scenes and the making of the film and also the post release mania behind Bachna Ae Haseeno. Ranbir is hot, Bipasha is sizzling, Deepika is polished, and Minissha is cute but its Ranbir's chemistry with Hiten that Anand liked more. To find out more simply read on.
How has the response been for Bachna Ae Haseeno?
I think trade and critics are only trying to bring the film down but on the contrary the business has been tremendous over the weekend and its showing 15 crore net business. This by the way has been reported on the websites and not something, we are stating. How many films in the recent past have actually done so much business? Not many, its one of the highest grossed film. For example, Om Shanti Om had done 22 crores business over the weekend. And in spite of being newcomers we have done pretty well. So I think we have done an extremely good job. I cannot find any reason as to why the media is trying to pull the film down. It has done great in the first week and I am sure the movie will pick up more business during the second week in the multiplexes. I am very happy with the success of the film and hope it gets stronger to achieve a much bigger success.
What exotic locales were selected for the shoot?
We shot at many places including Italy, Rome, and Venice, around 15 other cities and towns in Italy itself. In Switzerland, we must have gone to around 25 and more places to shoot. Then Sydney in Australia and of course we also shot in Mumbai and Amritsar.
Playing on the story of DDLJ, do you think it was a risk?
No, I wouldn't say it was a risk as we are not spoofing it, instead we merely used it as the backdrop for the story. We were playing on the story of DDLJ, we are not exactly giving it a tribute but merely expressing the dreams of a typical Punjabi girl who has lived and breathed DDLJ all her life. And it's very real mainly because you find thousands of girls who connect with 'Simran' and who would love to find their 'Raj' even today.
How many times have you seen DDLJ?
I think I have lost count of the number of times I have seen the movie. Even before I joined Yash Raj Films, I was loyal to their films, which I think every Hindi film viewer is.
How do you rate Ahmed Khan as a choreographer?
Ahmed Khan has worked with me before in Salaam Namaste and I have loved his work, that's precisely why I repeated him in Bachna Ae Haseeno. He has a lot of finesse in his work; basically, Ahmed and I make a good combination.
The song 'Khuda Jaane' is considered as one of the best songs in the album. How was your experience shooting the film?
Frankly, I think it was very difficult to shoot the song. We have travelled so much for this song alone that I've lost the count. We have tried to give the song a very exotic look and in order to do that we used to travel a lot if I am not wrong, it would one of the most expensive song sequences in the recent times. We would shoot for twelve hours continuous and then travel another four hours to shoot again. After the whole traveling, we were to get up early in the morning again for some more shooting. More than us, it was a little harder for the actors because they not only have to work late and work early but look good throughout the sequence. So I think it required lot of hardwork for the cast and crew. Among all the places we shot, I personally liked the Zagare beach in Italy mainly because I am very beach person while some people liked Venice more.
During the Song 'Ahista Ahista', where did you get so many bikers? Where was it predominantly shot?
The song 'Ahista Ahista' was shot all over Switzerland, even for this song we travelled a lot to places like Zwiessmen, Alpenzel, Rapperswill, Zurich, and many more. The bikers in the song were actually driven from Austria in Germany and Switzerland.
So how was your relation with Ranbir and the three girls?
Actually, now I am very thick with them as a friend. I think we became friends during the start of the project itself and that's very important for an actor and the director so that the ice is already cracked and we can know each other's strengths and weaknesses, thus making it easier for us to be honest with each other regarding their performances. So it's good to have a good bonding between the actors and director.
Whose chemistry did you like the best?
I believe all the three girls had an amazing chemistry with Ranbir. But among all of them I think Ranbir and Paintal had more chemistry. Hiten and I know each other since childhood, say about 15 years now, and he has constantly been in touch with me and I had told him, if I ever find something worth him, I will offer it to him. So, when it came up I approached Hiten.
Were there any difficult shots that you found very tough during the whole filming?
I think the interval scene was the most difficult sequence to shoot because we were shooting at High Park in Sydney at night. Although we had managed to empty the park and I had ferry lights put on the trees and candles on the floor it was a huge infrastructure and was a very important scene for the film and it was shot in the open. I think that would be the most difficult sequence in the whole film.
Did Mr. Yash Chopra see the film? What were his comments about it?
Of course, he has seen the film after all he's produced the film. Mr. Yash Chopra was very happy with my film and said that the film looked much better than the script. All in all, he is extremely thrilled and satisfied with the film.