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‘I’m nervous, tense, scared’

Yash Chopra at ICCR.
Picture by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya

Yash Chopra, the raja of romance, is back after a seven-year hiatus. In town for the Media and Entertainment Business Conclave, hosted by Ficci Frames in association with The Telegraph at ICCR on Wednesday, the veteran director opened up to t2 on his forthcoming directorial venture and why it is making him nervous.

So, the director Yash Chopra is back…

I am starting my film next month... after about seven years, after Veer-Zaara. I have mixed feelings. I am excited. I am nervous. I am very tense. I am scared....

Why are you nervous?

In these seven years, the world has gone very, very far. And wonderful filmmakers have come into the field. I want to make a small, simple love story… nothing else… I am feeling nervous about it because I don’t know what the audience wants today. The audience has changed. I am starting my film with Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma. I will be releasing the film on Diwali. I pray to God that everything goes well. Here, everything is made with the success of the film and nothing else.

Have you decided on the title?

No, no yet. With me, it always happens that the title is decided very late... while making the film, something comes up. For Veer-Zaara, we decided on the title the day we were sending the application to the censor (board)! (Laughs.)

Why the seven-year wait?

There were a lot of reasons. I started my studio (YRF Studios) after Veer-Zaara. My son (Aditya Chopra) was making the plan, so I got busy with that. And I was not getting a simple story which I wanted to make. My film is an emotional film. It is not comedy, action, escapism… it is not that (smiles). It is an emotional film. Let me see what happens.... I haven’t made a film which I did not believe in. If I am not excited, I don’t make the film. I have been in the industry for the past 60 years. Sometimes I feel I don’t deserve all this... but God has been very kind to me.

You say the audience taste has changed. What do you think the audience wants today?

Only he knows! (Points upwards.) If people come to know what the audience wants, people won’t make bad films! You should make a film which you get excited about, you are happy and on your own terms. Leave the rest to God.

Can you ever make a film without Shah Rukh Khan?

No, no... I can make, why not? But in this film, he was suitable. This film was planned two-and-a-half years back. I did not want to make it while he was shooting for another film. I said, ‘You tell me when you are not shooting any other film… (you will shoot) only for my film.’ This is not an action film, not a thrilling film… this is what we call an internal film. There are only three characters… their emotions, happiness, sadness. Aditya Chopra (son) has written the film.

Is there any recent romance that you have liked?

I liked Rockstar very much. I also liked 3 Idiots. It is a brilliant film! I see every film. I go and see in the theatre. I want to enjoy the film with the audience, not sitting alone at home. I don’t see films on DVD and I don’t go to trials. I enjoy films with popcorn and Coca-Cola.

I have made Deewar, Trishul, Kaala Patthar... but at this juncture, I feel I should not make anything else but a romantic film because I cannot handle action, gruesome politics, corruption... I cannot handle.... I won’t feel comfortable making the film. I feel excited and comfortable making romances because I feel love is the only sentiment in the world which can never go out of fashion. Love has many shades... between mother-son, sisters, two friends... the strongest is between man and woman. I have been missing the whole thing for so many years. I am starting from January 5.

Who is the ultimate romantic hero for you?

In the old days, the ultimate romantic hero was Dilip Kumar. Ultimate. And though people say that Amitabh Bachchan is the angry young man, I find a lot of intensity in him.... Today Shah Rukh is there, Aamir (Khan) is there. But in the next generation, I think, the ultimate romantic hero would be Ranbir Kapoor. In Rockstar, he is brilliant! He will be the next superstar romantic hero.

And among the heroines?

Kareena (Kapoor) is good. Katrina (Kaif)... you have to guide her... she is very good. She has started doing very good work. In our film Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, she was wonderful. Kajol, I feel, is fantastic. She works very little but she is fantastic.


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