Jagga Jasoos took a very long time to make. It must have been exhausting…
It’s tiring when you try to finish a film in three months. And this took three and half years. Yes, it was mentally tiring because of the patience that requires. I had worked with Anurag Basu earlier on Barfi.! So I was very prepared of his working style. He does lot of work for you. As an actor he creates your performance with his camera, his music and his treatment. I had a good creative collaboration with him. So I was very excited to work with again. He is a filmmaker who works very hard, he is very passionate, he is very inspiring when you are on set with him. He challenges you as an actor. He doesn’t like rehearsals. So everything is improvised. The situation is like something which is so out of the ordinary that you always surprising yourself as an actor. Yes it did test our patience. We all got frustrated, we lost hope, we tried to shelve the film, and we lost interest at some point. But what kept us going was Basu’s persistence.
Why did you choose to collaborate with Anurag Basu as a producer instead of producing it under your own RK banner?
I’ll produce a film under the RK banner when I get to direct one. Anurag Basu is a big name. His contribution to this film is more than mine. And it was only fair for me to produce with him fifty fifty. I didn’t want to take the whole credit of producing it. That’s why we started with a Picture Shuru Productions for Jagga Jasoos. We want to make other films relating to this character and this format but that depends if the film does well.
Were you ever apprehensive about the fact that you were making a musical?
No actually there was much excitement instead. It’s a true musical film; and it’s an adventure and detective film too. It’s kind of encompasses the Disney prototype. So this film is like adapting a cartoon film with live actors and will appeal to the children and a universal audience as well. Yes, the risk factor was high nobody has done this before. But I think that was also exciting to break ground. It was very exciting for me as a producer and as an actor to be part of a film like this.
Was it difficult to work with director Anurag Basu, as he doesn’t work with a bound script?
Yes, he is that kind of filmmaker and hence actors can get insecure. They need to know what’s happening, what I am doing, what’s my graph — but Anurag doesn’t work like this. I knew about his process so I was prepared for it but it was hard for Katrina Kaif. She was new to all this.
You don’t like sticking to a formula, right?
Whenever I have tried to go by formula, like in Besharam for instance, I have always fallen flat on my face. It is not something that comes naturally to me. I think the riskier parts, the parts which are not the heroic …those are the roles that I connect with. I like playing the under hero. I don’t like playing the larger than life hero. And I am going by my instinct, I am going by gut. If I like a story, if I like the director’s vision I sign the film.