Zero Movie Interviews and Reviews
There Is No Stardom, No Pretence: Aanand L Rai On Directing Shah Rukh Khan In Zero
The filmmaker on making his most ambitious film with the superstar and yet retaining the trademark simplicity of his movies.
Both as a filmmaker and producer, Aanand L Rai has told stories that are rooted, simple and relatable. This year with Zero, he makes his biggest film yet with superstar Shah Rukh Khan. Can it be hard for a filmmaker to serve the 25-year-old legacy of a superstar, and yet retain his own voice? Rai says he’s yet to meet the superstar in Khan. An excerpt from the interview:
Let’s talk about Zero – the most ambitious film of your career. I read this interview that you did in 2013 where you talk about how you have to emotionally connect with your actors. And you said that I feel I’ll be able to connect with Shah Rukh. He’ll understand what I’m saying without me having to be a director. How did you know then that you could connect?
I had a strong feeling. I met him in 2015. I somewhere knew that jab bhi main inse milunga, there will be something which will gel. And it has happened. It has happened magically. And I’m not talking about a director-actor tuning or bonding. I’m talking about one person to another person. I have learnt a lot from him. Again, nothing professional about it. On a very personal level. Aur main bahut saari baatein karta hu unke saath. And trust me, agar hum dono aise nahi hote, Zero is really a tough film. But I’m telling you this is one of the finest journeys I’ve had till now and I’ve really enjoyed it.
I’d Be A Fool Not To Try Something New With SRK: Writer Himanshu Sharma On Writing For The Superstar In Zero
‘You have to create something new with him and yet tap into that charm which has been enthralling us for so many years’
Aanand L Rai’s biggest film yet, Zero, opens in a little over a month. The filmmaker and his frequent collaborator writer Himanshu Sharma have rarely failed. In the past they have given us successful films like Tanu Weds Manu (2001) and Raanjhanaa (2013). Their collaborations usually have a pattern to them – they are rooted stories told with simplicity. This time around, they are working with one of the country’s biggest superstars in what looks like one of Hindi cinema’s most technically ambitious films in recent years. “For someone like me it is a big pressure that thousands of technicians are working day in and day out to achieve something that you had thought of sitting on a sofa. It’s extremely unnerving,” says Sharma. Here he talks about how he has tried to push the envelope, but gently, while writing for the superstar.
At what point did you know Shah Rukh Khan was going to play the part?
In the middle somewhere – when the scenes started coming to my head and Aanand thought we should approach Khan saab and see if he liked it. He really liked the idea. There wasn’t a script ready then. In fact the first half was barely ready when he said yes to it.
Watch this space for the reviews of Shah Rukh Khan’s latest upcoming movie Zero on December 21, 2018.