"I'm still a newcomer in Bollywood"
By Bohni Bandyopadhyay He brought action and Southern flavour back in Bollywood with "Wanted" in 2009 but dancing star-turned-director Prabhu Deva, whose next film "Rowdy Rathore" is set to release this June, says he is still a newcomer in Bollywood.
"Wanted" was Prabhu Deva's Hindi directorial debut. Besides breaking many box office records and giving Salman Khan's career a much-needed hit, the film sparked off a trend of remaking films from down South in Bollywood.
"I am a newcomer in Bollywood. Everytime I work with an actor, it becomes the first time for me. 'Rowdy Rathore' is my second film in Hindi. There is the same pressure about this film's performance at the box office," Prabhu told PTI.
For his second Hindi film, Prabhu Deva was approached by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who wanted the director to make a typical "masala" film.
"Sanjay sir came to Chennai and told me he wanted to make a masala film. He is more commercial a filmmaker than me and the idea of Rowdy Rathore was his. As a director we all respect him. When he said he wanted me to direct the film, I consented," said the 39-year-old actor-director.
Even though the film was Bhansali's idea, Prabhu Deva says the prolific filmmaker did not interfere in his direction. "He didn't interfere later during the shoot. He was keen on me being comfortable as a director. He only said 'whatever you need from me as a producer just let me know'. He came for the mahurat then he didn't come for the shoot at all."
"Rowdy Rathore" is being touted as Akshay Kumar's return to action after seven years, but Prabhu Deva says the "Khiladi" star never left the genre. "For Akshay action is very easy. He might be starring in an action film after 7-8 years, but it has always been there inside him, so it is not any return. Action is not put deliberately in 'Rowdy Rathore', its only part of the story, just like 'Wanted'," he said.
The film stars Sonakshi Sinha in the lead. "The characters were tailor-made for both Akshay and Sonakshi. We needed somebody who could look like a girl from a small town."
Prabhu Deva himself appears in the film for a short while, dancing alongside Akshay in the song 'Chinta ta'.
"It is similar to my appearance in the song 'Jalwa' in 'Wanted'. I don't want to appear more than that in the films that I direct. I can't do everything myself," he said. But he will soon be seen in a full-fledged lead in upcoming dance-based film "ABCD" being directed by choreographer Remo D'Souza.
"It is a 3D dance film which Remo is directing. You will see better dancers than me in it. We are working hard on it, I think it will turn out to be a good film. It is a typical dance kind of a film where I am playing the main lead."
As far as his own films are concerned, Prabhu Deva says he is going to carry on churning out typical commercial fare and is concentrating on Bollywood only despite having made films in Tamil and Telugu.
"Everybody wants me to do action oriented masala films. I will go with the audience. Whatever they want from me, I will do it. After all, my films have to be liked by the viewers. My next Hindi film will be announced after a few months. My focus is Hindi films now," he said. PTI