'Akshay and I are working free for Tees Maar Khan'
Farah Khan seems quite excited about her new directorial film, Tees Maar Khan. The director has her cast -- Akshay Kumar, Akshaye Khanna and Katrina Kaif -- in place, and the shooting is set to start on March 1.
She hopes to fix the release date at December 24 too, if 'Aamir Khan spares those dates for her.'
Tees Maar Khan has been written by her husband Shirish Kunder.
Farah talks to Nithya Ramani about the film, and also says that there is no bad blood between Shah Rukh Khan and her.
How did you decide on Katrina?
I wanted a new girl, someone like Katrina. I met her, and narrated the story to her. She asked me why I was looking for someone like Katrina when she herself was available. She's very apt for the role. She's the number one actress today. More importantly, she shares a great track record and chemistry with Akshay.
I had heard that I had approached Priyanka Chopra, Sonam Kapoor and Freida Pinto for the role but that is not true.
What about Akshay Kumar and Akshaye Khanna?
Well, Akshay Kumar was easy because the story was written keeping him in mind. Shirish wrote the script for Akshay. When you watch the film, you will see that he is perfect for the role.
Akshaye Khanna's role is not the title role but it is a fabulous one. I was initially apprehensive whether to approach him for a film where another actor was playing the lead. But Akshaye loved the script and realised that without his character, the film could not proceed. The character needed an actor of great comic timing. And who better than Akshaye Khanna?
Image: Shah Rukh Khan and Farah Khan
'There is nothing sour between Shah Rukh and me'
Will Tees Maar Khan be like Om Shanti Om and Main Hoon Na?
Tees Maar Khan is quite different from those films. But I can promise you that it will be as entertaining, if not more. I will try my best to have great music in it.
I consider this as my first film. I don't want any pressure or expectations from my last films. I had completely disconnected myself when I made Om Shanti Om, without feeling that I had made Main Hoon Na before.
You need to keep up with the times as audiences change every Friday. You can't be assured that if something worked two years earlier, it will work again.
What does Tees Maar Khan mean?
The film is about a character called Tees Maar Khan. It means a smartass. He is overconfident and an international con artist. He calls himself half-Robin Hood because he robs from the rich but doesn't give to the poor.
The film is on the lines of Hollywood's Austin Powers or Pink Panther. They have character-based films. I hope that Tees Maar Khan makes a name for itself and we can franchise it.
Why did you cast Akshay instead of your close friend Shah Rukh Khan?
There is nothing sour between Shah Rukh and me. I love him. We are friends and will continue to be. I have always said I will not work without Shah Rukh. But I am directing this film for Shirish. If he wrote it keeping Akshay in mind, what's the big deal?
I am still good friends with Shah Rukh. When he does films with other directors, I don't get upset.
Image: Farah Khan on sets of Om Shanti Om
'Everybody works very hard in my films'
Is Akshay co-producing Tees Maar Khan?
Yes. When I met Akshay and narrated the story to him, he was very kicked about it. Since this is the first time he is working with me, he got very excited. So he decided to co-produce the film.
The budget of the film is not very high. We plan to shoot the film in 70 days.
Besides, Akshay is not charging us, as of now. Even I will not take a fee. When we sell the film, Shirish and I, and Akshay will be 50-50 partners.
Will your end credits be grand in this film too?
Of course. Everybody works very hard in my films -- from spot boys, light men etc. For them, this is their moment. You should see the smile on their faces on that day of the shoot. Whenever I organise a preview for my films, I book a theatre for my technicians and their families.
We generally call the A-listers of our industry and forget those who have worked very hard. For them, it is that one moment on screen that stays with them forever. I will do this in all my films.
When will Shirish direct his next film after Jaan-e-Mann?
After Tees Maar Khan. He is working on a script with John Abraham called Alien Sahib. He is also writing a film for Salman Khan. After Tees Maar Khan, it will be my turn to go on a break and his turn to work.
Image: Farah Khan and Akshay Kumar
Photographs: Pradeep Bhandekar