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Made In China: showcasing the magic of 'India Ka Jugaad'

Made In China cast & crew recount journey on making film about a failed businessman
Mikhil Musale, Mouni Roy, Rajkummar Rao and Dinesh Vijan at the trailer launch on Wednesday.
Mikhil Musale, Mouni Roy, Rajkummar Rao and Dinesh Vijan at the trailer launch on Wednesday.
Pictures by Yogen Shah

Ushnota Paul   |   Published 18.09.19, 07:16 PM

Rajkummar Rao plays Raghu, a failed, pot-belied Gujarati businessman, in Made In China, a film showcasing the magic of “India Ka Jugaad” in a foreign country. The Woods was at the media interaction for the film’s trailer launch. Excerpts from conversations with director Mikhil Musale, producer Dinesh Vijan, and leads Rajkummar and Mouni Roy...

Q: What do fans mean to you…

Mouni: Family. They literally make us. The kind of appreciation and unconditional love they have shown us over so many years, you can only be grateful and overwhelmed.

Rajkummar: Whatever I’m today is because of the audience. I dreamt of becoming an actor in a small town in Haryana, came here, and got so much love. Sirf kaam ke dum pe they brought me here. I’ve a lot of gratitude.

How did you prepare…

Rajkummar: I had to gain some weight… I also requested my make up team to give me unibrows!

Dinesh: When I saw Made In China, I called Raj up. I believe it’s his best performance till date. He will make you emotional, he will make you laugh. I think he has done really well.

How did this happen?

Mikhil: Raghu is a struggling businessman from Gujarat. I’ve also been a struggling filmmaker and this journey started since 2014 when I was pitched a one-line idea. I realised that it required at least three years of writing and that we had to prove our credentials first by making a Gujarati film. Fortunately, that film won a National Award. After 18 months, our script was ready when Dinu (Dinesh) sir came to my life like an angel.

Mouni: Working with Dinu was a dream come true because not just me, he has given so many new actors so much work and made them who they are today. It has been a joyride with Rajkummar and Mikhil sir.

Biggest jugaad that you pulled off...

Mouni: Mine are every day tiny jugaads. I love to constantly compartmentalise things... I make a tiny silver jewellery box into an elaichi box. I feel very happy and proud about these jugaads.

Rajkummar: I’m from a middle-class family in Gurgaon so we used to find jugaad in everything. If toothpaste was over, we wouldn’t throw it away, we would try to still take it out!

Dinesh: I’m from a transportation and logistical background. My grandfather came from Rawalpindi, Pakistan, with Rs 5,000. That’s the biggest jugaad. When I told him I want to make movies, he almost fell off his chair. To be able to come here and do what you love is the biggest jugaad of my life.

Mikhil: Getting my first Hindi feature film and get my dream cast. 

Q: What’s tougher, prepping for your film or preparing award speech

Rajkummar: I don’t prepare for my award speeches, you never know kab milega aur kab nahi milega. I love preparing for my characters and Raghu is an exciting part. I always wanted to play the role of a businessman and that too a Gujarati.

I was a Gujarati in Kai Po Che! but that was very subtle. Here, I had a chance to go all out. Mikhil knows Gujarati well because he grew up there. Everyone created such a great Gujarati world that I started smelling Gujarat in my script. When you see the film, you’d feel you’re in that city. I had an amazing time shooting for this film.

Q: An outsider who’s now one of the top-notch actors in the industry… Was there any jugaad there?

Rajkummar: When I was looking for work, a lot of people told me, arre jugaad lagana padta hai. You have to build contacts and network. But I couldn’t do any of that, so I could never do any jugaad when it came to work. I was just meeting a lot of casting directors, showing them my show-reel and trying to convince them to call me for auditions. That’s how I started my journey… In any artistic line, jugaad can only take you so far, after that it’s your talent.

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