Action director turned filmmaker Aejaz Gulab is nervous and excited as he is gearing up for his debut film, Ab Tak Chappan 2 starring Nana Patekar, a sequel to the 2004 action thriller. In a quick chat, Aejaz talks about the film, working with the veteran actor and his plans to work with Salman Khan. Read on:
Ab Tak Chappan was a cult. What made you do Ab Tak Chappan 2?
The first film was a huge hit and because of that I thought this will be a good film to start with. And let me tell you, there has been lot of pressure. I hope the film is appreciated by all.
You are working with a veteran actor like Nana Patekar. How was the experience?
He is a talented actor, writer and director, so yes it was a great experience. I learnt many things from him. I enjoyed working with him. In fact, I had heard that he is very rude. But on the sets the things were different. He was very friendly and there were no starry airs in him.
What kind of guidance did he give you?
Whenever we used to stage a scene and that time we used to hold a minor discussion where we would give each other few suggestions. It was like give and take kind of discussion. When an actor is performing, they sometimes come up with great ideas which work for a film. So with Nana Patekar also it was same.
The film is releasing with another YRF film Dum Laga Ke Haisha. Do you think you have an added advantage of a successful prequel?
No it is not like an advantage or a disadvantage. My film is a proper sequel with same actors, story and essence. And since both the films genre is different, I don't think there will be an issue.
Ab Tak Chappan came out in 2004 and the sequel is coming out after almost 11 years. How will you manage to get the audience connect both the films?
We were always thinking about it and we had this thing is mind that since there has been a huge gap between two films, if we don't succeed in making a proper film, it will harm us. But the way the script is written, in the first 15 minutes you will able to connect with the first part completely.
In a time where marketing has been a great deal, the buzz around Ab Tak Chappan 2 has been very less. Why so?
There is no specific thought behind this. But then our film doesn't have a song in it and hence it is difficult to market the film. There is no promotion as such needed when there is no song in the film. Marketing the film a month in advance wouldn't have been justified.
Has the Censor Board passed the film without any cuts?
There are no cuts but as per the latest notification regarding the usage of cuss words, we will have to censor them. They informed us that those words will have to be replaced. The film is passed with U/A Certificate.
You have been an action director for almost 23 years. Were you inclined towards direction since the beginning?
No I was never inclined towards direction. I was initially a stunt man, then body double and then finally a stunt director. My journey took me forward and I enjoyed every stage. And then at one point Mr. Ram Gopal Varma told me that the kind of journey I have had, I should become a director. Then Aslam Khan offered me a movie which was Ab Tak Chappan 2. I took it up as a challenge to direct this film because the first part was a huge success.
Are you nervous about your first film?
Actually I am nervous. As and when the movie's release is coming near, my heartbeat is increasing.
Which are your forthcoming films as an action director?
As an action director I have Jazbaa, Wazir and 7 Days To Go.
And as a director?
My plan is to direct another film too. My script is ready. Once I am done with Ab Tak Chappan 2, I will begin working on the other film. I will try to get Salman Khan and Nana Patekar together in my next film.