David Dhawan is not known as the King of Comedy for nothing. After more than two decades and 40 Bollywood films, the director reunites with Sanjay Dutt, with whom he had made his directorial debut in Taaqatwar, in Rascals. In an exclusive interview with Koimoi.com Editor Komal Nahta, David Dhawan talks about Rascals, his neighbour Salman Khan, and how he handles starry tantrums on set:
On Working With Sanjay Dutt & Ajay Devgan
I’ve never narrated scripts (to any star). Sanju and I don’t discuss things because we have worked together so often. More than having faith in each other, we love each other. Whenever I have to work with him, all I have to do is to tell him, “Sanjay, I’m starting a new film…”, and he gives the nod.
Ajay is a director’s delight. He comes on time, doesn’t interfere and understands everything. For the time when you’re with him, you’re stress free.
On Today’s Stars
Every star is replaceable today. Amitabh Bachchan was one actor who wasn’t replaceable. Just look at him in Deewar, no one else can do what he does in that film. Nowadays, they (actors) can do each other’s roles. Young stars are a little scared to work with us (veterans) because they are afraid that they will stand exposed. However, one also has to bear in mind the fact that acting for commercial films is not an easy task!
On Salman Khan
I often go to Salim saab’s (screenwriter Salim Khan) house and though both he and Salman are my neighbours, I just say ‘Hi’ to Salman and spend most of my time with his father, Salim Khan, who is a treasure of knowledge. I have more fun with Salim saab than with anyone in his entire family.
Govinda, Salman and I ruled in the ‘90s. You know, Salman’s has his own (different) cinema; his acting is his own. People like him (for it). He’s got that lovability (that no one else has).
What Went Wrong With Govinda?
Govinda is superb. You can give him the worst of scenes but he can clean them up and make them look good. I think Govinda’s selection of films went wrong. His troublesome nature may have been a problem at one point of time but I’ve handled him before and it’s worked well.
I handle stars very well. Stars are like children. You have to pamper them.
On The Comedy Greats
Manmohan Desai’s comedy was of a different genre. He was and will be my guru. He knew how to handle human relationships very well. He gave you real cinema. Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s comedy, on the other hand, was more about good writing. I feel that scriptwriting is like mathematics, I prefer to go with the feel. Dialogue is very important in a comedy, and so are good actors. While writing a story, I try to react like the audience.
From the current crop, I feel Rohit Shetty mixes action and comedy very well in his comedies like Golmaal. He did a very good job with Singham as well.
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