The two are long-standing friends and their films are being released this Friday. There are similarities between them. While Anurag Kashyap has made films earlier, No Smoking which opens this Friday would be his second released film after Black Friday. Jab We Met is Imtiaz Ali's second film.
So close are the two directors that they mutually agreed not to release their respective films on the same Friday, if there were similarities between them. "I saw No Smoking a few days ago and loved it. Fortunately, Jab We Met and No Smoking are two totally different creations targeted at different audiences," explains Imtiaz. "Anurag is a very dear friend of mine. I've known him for years. If we had seen any resemblance between our films we'd have asked our producers to hold the release. But the focus of Anurag's film is completely different from mine."
Another similarity between the two filmmakers. They're both working with commercially established stars for the first time. Says Imtiaz, "That's true. But speaking for myself I'd work with stars only if I require them. If the movie is a 2-crore film then you've more freedom to do what you've to do. And stars have to be used properly. I had never interacted with stars before. Kareena, I wasn't a fan of initially. Maybe I saw her wrong films. But I knew she was a high-potential performer. And she rocked in Mani Ratnam's Yuva. And now in Jab We Met she surrendered completely to my vision. Such energy and conviction. If I asked her to jump in front of a car she did it."
Kareena agreed to work without makeup for Imtiaz. "I told her, just don't do anything to your face. For large portions in the film, Kareena is completely without makeup. She’s in great shape. The time is right for her. After working with her I feel we've seen just 40 percent of her potential. There are some people who have a divine connection, like Sunidhi Chauhan and Kareena. If I get to work with stars like Kareena, why shouldn't I work with them?"