‘Akshay Kumar set the ball rolling for Selfiee’: Driving Licence star Prithviraj
It was Akshay Kumar who set the ball rolling for Selfiee following a conversation over the phone with Malayalam star Prithviraj, the latter said during the trailer launch of the upcoming film in Mumbai on Sunday.
A Hindi adaptation of Prithviraj’s 2019 Malayalam film Driving Licence, Selfiee stars Akshay Kumar as a superstar and Emraan Hashmi as his fan. The Raj Mehta directorial, produced by Karan Johar’s Dharma Production, also stars Nushrratt Bharuccha in an important role.
“Akshay Kumar is the person with whom the journey of Selfiee began. I called Akshay sir one day and told him, ‘There’s a film of mine that you should watch. Because I believe it’s a story that needs to be told everywhere in the country’,” said Prithviraj.
“I had told Akshay Sir to call me anytime. But I must tell you that it’s dangerous to say ‘anytime’ to Akshay Sir. Because that anytime can start from 4 am. I was working out when I got a call back from Akshay Sir. He said, ‘Hey Prithvi, I want to do the film.’ My breathlessness was not just because of the excitement but also because of the workout,” he added.
Producer Karan Johar emphasized that Selfiee is not a remake of Driving Licence but an adaptation because the film is completely director Raj Mehta’s vision.
“In February 2020, Akshay called me and said that there’s this film called Driving Licence in which superstar Prithviraj plays a superstar and that I should watch it. So, I watched it and called Akshay back and said, ‘This is amazing. I have never seen a film so unique as this one’,” said Johar.
Adding to that, Prithviraj said, “Full credit to Raj for having seen the original and then thinking of this film from that source material. To be able to tell a story in a different fashion but still retain the core elements requires a lot of talent. Sachy, who wrote the original Malayalam film, is unfortunately not with us. But if he had seen Selfiee, he would have been very proud.”
Prithviraj, who will be playing the antagonist in Akshay Kumar’s Bade Miyaan Chhote Miyaan, said, “It was Akshay Sir’s decision that set the ball rolling. Karan and Dharma enabled us through the process. We can’t claim to have done a lot on this film except for standing by Raj and Karan’s vision and believing in Akshay Sir, Emraan, Nushhratt, and the whole team.”
Selfiee, also starring Diana Penty, will be released theatrically on February 24.