PremBabu Sharma

Priyadarshan is known for his infectious sense of humor that works so well with the audiences. The same goes for the set of actors who swear by him. The day, Priyadarshan received the Padmashri, with his team of dedicated actors, the director was shooting for Percept Pictures’ Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal in Film City. Considering that this was also the year when Priyan again bagged the National Award as well as taking on the responsibility of the Chairman of the Kerala Chalchitra Academy, there is a lot to look forward to. But Priyan is a man of few words. Focus is the key and he prefers to let his work do the talking. We catch up with Priyadarshan at Film City and get him talking…
So, it is Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal this time… 

Tell us more about it…
Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal is a big film in terms of narrative, the plot size, number of days of shoot etc. The production values are great, the cast is also a treat to work with. We have Nana Patekar with Paresh Rawal, Om Puri, Shreyas Talpade, Asrani, Shakti Kapoor amongst many others and this time the music also gets mainstream with Sajid Wajid. I am very happy with what they have created. It is fun, original and enjoyable to the fullest.

How is it working with seasoned actors?
They have all worked with me or are people with whom I share a mutual admiration. When you have actors who trust you completely, it is a delight. I do not believe in favoritism. The actors are cast according to the script once it is complete. That is the way I always function.

But you have always stated that if you were a woman, you would have married Paresh Rawal?
(Grins) Yes, I did. It is because he is with me in almost 20 films. If he was a woman, they would have stated, we have an affair. He is a man. So I made that statement. What should I say about him or Shakti or Asrani? They have worked with me on so many films. To them, it is just another film they enjoy being part of.

How is Nana to work with?
We share a mutual admiration for one another. He is a pleasure to work with.

So, does Nana have a pretty woman opposite him?
Why does he need one? He has me (guffaws!)

What about Shreyas Talpade?
Shreyas is one of the most talented actors I ever met. He has not been exploited to his fullest potential. This film will bring him to a new league altogether…

What about your leading lady?
She is opposite Shreyas Talpade and I will talk about her when the time is right. All I can say is that we found her after auditioning almost 22 girls. She has the look we need, is a good dancer and is sensible. I think, we will add another girl to the list of Bollywood’s wanted leading ladies after this film.

You said this film is more musical…
Yes, we have some great score by Sajid-Wajid. The earlier film did not focus on music. This one has some amazing numbers.

So how does it feel receiving the Padmashri?
83 films, 150 ads, 16 National Awards for films and two myself, I think I deserve it. And I am the only director to make films with both genres over 32 years in all five languages…(We couldn’t have phrased it better, Priyan!)