Interview By: DANNON MARTIS
Being a producer is not an easy job and Prerna Arora lets us know all about it. Her upcoming production ‘Toilet Ek Prem Katha’ has an important social message for all of us to ponder upon. In this freewheeling chat she speaks to us about her film, on working with Akshay Kumar and what’s important to her as producer.
What was the reason behind your decision to produce ‘Toilet EkPrem Katha’?
The primary cause was my faith in my lead actor Akshay Kumar. Akshay Sir said recently in an interview that from four years this film was being passed around in the market and he decided actually that we should make this film. When an actor of this stature has such a strong conviction on this subject, it automatically made the producers come on board. With this film we are trying to make a contribution to the country, by making a film which is meaningful, which reaches out to people and talks about protecting women. The lack of a toilet facility is a very relevant issue and there is nothing better than being on board with a film like ‘Toilet Ek Prem Katha’ because of the substance and message the film carries. To be part of a film with such a big message, it is an honor to be on board. So there was no doubt in my mind regarding producing and being associated with the film.
Being a producer is a tough job as you have a lot of responsibilities. What are the challenges that you face?
Yes it is definitely tough and there is a lot of hard work involved as there are huge responsibilities. Being a producer you have to take care of every area which is a part of the film. Here you are overseeing the film in totality and are not just in charge of one department as you want to complete the film and release it. It is a new challenge everyday and you have to see that all the demands around the film are met. It involves people management and I see this as the greatest responsibility of the producer as you have to unite a team and maintain peace and harmony and take things forward in a very good spirit. As a producer I am team player and I believe in team spirit.
You have worked with Akshay earlier in ‘Rustom’ and ‘Toilet EkPrem Katha’ is your second film with him. What prompted you to sign him again and how would you describe him as an actor?
I am also collaborating with Akshay Sir in our third film called ‘Padman’. It will release next year. Hopefully in the future I will work on many more films with Akshay Sir. To describe Akshay Sir as an actor, the word I would like to use is disciplined. I think people who are not from the industry also know how disciplined he is. For me Akshay Kumar is someone who is an extremely passionate actor, hardworking and is a producer’s actor. He is an actor who is concerned about his producers; he does not want his producer to lose money. Even after being such a big superstar Akshay Sir is so humble, he is so kind and he is someone who is very easy to work with. He is a very simple guy at heart. He does not have any attitude; he does not have any air about himself. I would also say he is choosy as an actor because he wants to work with people who are hard working, who themselves are focused and are serious about their career.
“Even after being such a big superstar Akshay Sir is so humble, he is so kind and he is someone who is very easy to work with”
Bhumi Pednekar was highly praised for her debut performance. What do you think of her as an artist?
I was very happy to have her on board as she is an extremely talented girl and she is perfect for the role. When you watch the promo, you realize that she is not a miscast for the role and she has done complete justice to her character.
Success at the box-office is vital for every film but along with the numbers, how important is critical acclaim for you?
I think for a film to be critically acclaimed is very important. For me personally I want a film to be appreciated and people should like the film. Being critically acclaimed is very vital for me, even more important than numbers. Numbers is second for me. When you make a good film even if it does not make the numbers, at least you get a feeling of happiness because you have made a good film and people have liked the film, people who paid money to watch a film,feel good after watching a good film. A mix of box-office success and critical acclaim is ideal and who doesn’t want that but if I had to choose one then I would go with critical acclaim. I want KriArj to make good content. If people like your film then people don’t forget about of it. They remember the content and not how much money it earned.
What do you think is the USP of this film?
The USP of the film is that yes there is a social message and the film is entertaining but the love-story of the film is so beautiful that I think this is the USP of the film.
Could you shed some light on your upcoming projects?
My next release is ‘Parmanu’ which I am co-producing with John Abraham and the film is about a noble cause and it is about shinning India because it is based on a true event. Also I am co-producing ‘Pari’ with Anuskha Sharma and it releases on 9th of Feb 2018 and this film is one of its kind. Also I have ‘Faaney Khan’ with Anil Kapoor and AishwaryaRai. Next up is ‘Kedarnath’ starring Sushant Singh Rajput and will mark the debut of Sara Ali Khan. It will directed by Abhishek Kapoor. Both films will go on floors on 25th August 2017. In January we start Vishal Bhardwaj’s film starring Deepika Padukone and Irrfan Khan.