Comedy has always been your forte. But doing an out and out action drama with Himmatwala, how has the transformation been?
I don’t believe I am only good at making comedy films but I feel I can make a film in any genre as long as I feel that the audience wants to see it. If you watch Heyy Babyy, you would know that it was more of a family drama though it had mane comedy scenes. So it had little comedy and more of an emotional aspect, the drama, the little child and the growing up of three boys to men. Yes, it did have comic elements but if you watch the last 30 minutes of Heyy Babyy were only tears! Housefull and Housefull 2 were out and out comedies and Himmatwala even has a lot of comedy but it is my take on the cinema in the ‘80s which is largely missing in today’s films. Heroes were a little over the top, there was dialoguebaazi, lots and lots of drama and emotional scenes and hit songs. So I think Himmatwala cannot be categorized as action, drama or comedy, it really lives up to the word ‘Entertainer’.
In a recent interview you said Himmatwaala is more of a rewrite than a remake. What is that all about?
I think the whole world will know from tomorrow, what exactly I was talking about. When people see the film tomorrow they will realize what I was saying was truth. It is more of a rewrite than a remake!
All your films had Akshay in the lead role but this one and your next one is missing Akshay Kumar as well. Why such a shift?
I am not making Judwaa 2 but yes it is true that I am doing my next film with Riteish Deshmukh and Saif Ali Khan but nothing has been finalized yet. Coming to Akshay, he has always been my lucky mascot but Himmatwala is Ajay Devgn’s film.
Why did you opt for Ajay Devgn and Tamannaah for the leads?
Ajay is my college buddy and I always wanted to work with my college buddy. Plus, nobody really suited the role better than Ajay. I wanted to also cast a superstar down South alongside Ajay and that is how Tamannaah’s name came up.
Though critics have somehow panned your films most times but the box office collections of all your films have been mammoth. What are you expecting out of Himmatwala?
Well, I don’t have anything against critics but I feel they don’t really know their job. Whatever they speak and write about thrashing my film everywhere, the box office speaks a completely different story altogether. Box office is nothing but just the barometer of audience’s likes and dislikes. So if your film is enjoyed by the audience it will do well at the box office. That is as simple as that. Himmatwala is definitely my best and most entertaining film upto date and it will also be mine and Ajay’s biggest hit upto date!