The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘It’s like a cakewalk’

The monster multistarrer, Salaam-e-Ishq, with its criss-cross of stars like Govinda, Salman Khan, John Abraham and Anil Kapoor and then Priyanka Chopra, Juhi Chawla, Vidya Balan and Ayesha Takia, could’ve broken an average director’s back. But Nikhil Advani seems to be made of sterner stuff. He is enjoying every bit if it. Even the notoriously undisciplined Govinda seems to be giving Nikhil a splendid time.

“Govinda is like a dream,” Nikhil raves. “He’s on the sets on the dot and embarrassingly apologetic if he’s a few minutes late.” In fact, the second-time director was petrified about how to handle the vast cast. “But it’s like a cakewalk. No actor has given me any grief. I’ve already finished shooting my portions with Anil and Juhi, also a part of the shooting required with Salman-Priyanka and Akshaye-Ayesha. To watch these actors before the camera is an amazing experience. I’m like a child in a candy store greedily wanting more and more. And you know what' These guys are more than willing to deliver.”

Says Nikhil, “We will shoot in London, Australia and Sri Lanka. After that I’m done. I’ve been shooting all over North India and with Govinda and his South African costar Shanon.” Considering how averse audiences are to cross-cultural romances, isn’t Nikhil worried about how they’ll take to the desi babu Govinda’s affair with gori mem Shanon' “It can’t be avoided. It’s an important track in my plot. I can only hope it works. I’m most certainly working hard to cover all my bases.”

While Nikhil has his fingers crossed, the film’s bound to get affected by Salman’s hairloss, no' “Not at all!” the unfazed director says. “Fortunately, my dates with Salman and his costar Priyanka were already slotted for foreign locations later during the year. So far I’ve shot in Jaipur, Agra, Rishikesh, Delhi and Hyderabad. I never expected everything to go so smoothly for me.” — Lata Sinha

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