EXCLUSIVE: 10 Years Of Jab We Met: With Shahid Kapoor, there was a lot of conversation and Kareena Kapoor Khan, it was more of a silent understanding, says Imtiaz Ali

From his first chat with Shahid Kapoor to Kareena Kapoor Khan facing danger from a beehive, Imtiaz Ali reveals how Jab We Met was finally made.
Shahid Kapoor,imtiaz ali,jab we met,Kareena Kapoor Khan,Exclusives
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"Main Apni Favourite Hoon," says Geet Dhillon aka Kareena Kapoor Khan to Aditya Kashyap aka Shahid Kapoor in Imtiaz Ali's Jab We Met. The movie which gave a new dimension to the careers of both Kareena and Shahid completes 10 years today. Considered to be one of the most romantic tales of the 21st century, the movie harbours a sense of freedom in one's mind as we trace the journey of an overtly hyperactive Geet and an equally serious and a man with history Aditya through Ratlam's quiet lane and the mesmerizing khets of Punjab. 

Ever wondered what must have been the story behind the making of this iconic movie? Well, we tried to dwell in some details from the captain of the ship himself - IMTIAZ ALI. 

Imtiaz, who himself is too overwhelmed with the kind of response the film garnered, admitted that initially he wasn't really confident about it and had at several times decided to scrap it but now is happy with how the movie has now become a person of its own. 

"Jab We Met is a person now, it has its own character, its rightful intent, and its own way of getting itself made," he says.

Narrating how he ended up writing the script, Imtiaz recounted, "I started it, sat with my friend in order to get him inspired to write and do something in life and ended up writing Jab We Met's script. I wrote this during the time when I was doing Socha Na Tha which took four years to complete, which meant I had a lot of time in hand so I wrote this to keep myself occupied. For two years, I did not want to make this movie. After that suddenly I decided to give it a shot instead of sitting ideal. I don't even know how things were turning out, there was no time for music, no time for pre-production, no time to decide on the location. Everything just happened on its own and in record time we started the film and completed it."

For a film which almost resurrected many careers, Imtiaz revealed, "When I was making this film, I did not know if this film is worth being made. I thought it is not substantial."

So, what made the ace filmmaker change his mind? Well, it was Shahid Kapoor!

"Long time back, I was supposed to make this movie with Bobby Deol but then the plan fell apart and then we decided not to make the film. Someone then introduced me to Shahid and he asked me what story am I working on and I told him about this film in a casual conversation. However, he showed interest in the film but I wasn't sure," Imtiaz adds. 

He then reiterated that it was Shahid who convinced him and was more confident about the movie than anyone else. 

"The great thing about Shahid is that he convinced me and said, 'well, who would be a good girl to play the part' and I spoke about Kareena. He said, 'why don't Kareena and I hear this story and then let's see.' The three of us then sat down on the floor just like I used to do it during my theatre days and narrated them the story and they agreed to it. He then asked me what was my reason to not make the film and I said 'you are too young for the part'. He then said that we can together work on that maturity part and I realized that he looks young but there is a certain level of maturity in Shahid which made him best suited to play Aditya. Actually, Shahid pushed for the film to be made, he was confident that the film will do very well, none of us had any clue about that then," Imtiaz revealed.

When asked about his favourite character from the movie, the filmmaker stunned us with his answer. "In JWM, I like the tamatar wali the most. I like that dialogue the most when she [tamatar wali] says, 'pata nahi kis kis kone mein gus gaye mere tamatar' because though in the background that woman comes out as a powerful personality," he says, while adding "There are small characters which I like. I also like the guy who is selling water at the railway station. I liked the Hotel Decent guy too." 

But, who amongst Geet, Aditya and Anshuman is his favourite, he says, "I like Anshuman a lot."

Any particular reason why? and the director quickly prompts, "It is a unique character. Now, when I watch the movie, I don't know whether to take him as a villain, or a funny guy who I can laugh at or a victim because he has not done as much wrong as it has happened to him ultimately. He is a mix of different things."

Each director puts in a part of him in the film, so who does Imtiaz resonate with the most in JWM?

"When they say that something of a director is there in every movie, they don't just mean in characters. I feel that something of the director is there in small bits, in a lot of things. For instance, during the time and before I was making JWM, I had recurring dreams of missing the train, that I am running on the platform and missing the train. Geet in JWM has the same feeling. After making Jab We Met, that nightmare went away. So, that was there from me into Geet. Otherwise, I aspired to be like Geet, to be so free, and be disarming and speak so much because I always felt socially awkward and shy," he replies. 

"Also, the fact that I am from a small town, so I understand the family structure that exists in a smaller town like Punjab," Imtiaz adds. 

What was the most difficult or challenging scene to shoot? To this, the director has a funny tale to tell. 

"There was one scene which was challenging in a funny and dramatic way," he starts, "This was the scene when Shahid and Kareena meet at the end for the final time in the field. Now that scene is in a way an indication of the happy ending. The scene was under a tree and it was a nice location but right above the head was a beehive which had already bitten a few people from the crew. Kareena had to stand under it and perform the scene. There was no way we would do it. It was very scary and we decided not to do it but suddenly the light became right so we just did it. Kareena was scared too but we all did the scene praying and hoping that the bees don't sting us or Kareena."

We were curious to know who would Imtiaz like to cast if he had to make Jab We Met in 2017? and the director speaks, "I think I cannot imagine anybody else in Shahid and Kareena's place."

However, what would he like to change in the script? "See, I think 10 years have gone by. There are so many things that I would like to change but now I feel that it has a cohesiveness of its own. After 10 years, you also make peace with whatever you thought would have made the script look more good. Now, I would not like to change it," he asserts. 

Each of Imtiaz's film starts with a certain mystery around the protagonist. A prologue to each story is what sets his movies apart. What about this style intrigues him? "I like that, this is more dramatic where you don't have all the answers but you are seeing something," he says, adding, "Like in JWM, when the movie begins, you see Aditya getting out of the office and whatever he is doing but you can't see his angst, you don't know him to feel sad with him. As things happen, an extra layer of the unravelling of somebody's history adds more drama to it, rather than being served the whole thing first. There is a certain intrigue with which the movie starts, makes you wonder, and then constantly you are looking at that character with special interest because you want to know his past."

Finally, how was your experience working with Shahid and Kareena? "It was excellent," he exclaims. "They are very different kind of actors but with Shahid, there was a lot of conversation and with Kareena, it was more of a silent understanding," he concluded. 

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Yesssssssss the expressions of the Hotel decent guy was priceless!!!! I loved loved him

my all tym fav movie.

I dunno if what they are talking about Shahid and Kareena being cold on the sets is right because I remember the promoting the movie and they looked happy, and still in a relationship. I remember they came on one of the dance shows and he was saying things like "Lady, You dun look Indian maybe French"!? They were just joking about something promoting Jab We Met. I am pretty sure the split happened after JWM, I dun think she was cheating on him either.

They have broken by then cuz it was evident. Kareena kept her distance. They were being cordial since they came to promote the film. When Shahid said u dont look Indian to Kareena. Kareena said yes Shahid u USED to say that to me all the time. Everybody has confirmed they brokeup either middle of shooting or the beginning.
Pv post this.

Ofcourse she was not in her best element she was cheating on shahid

After Shahid, Kareena had only ONE partner....Saif whom she went on to marry. Now after 10 years of togetherness, they were blessed with a cute baby boy. What about Shahid? He dumped Hrishita Bhatt for Kareena. After Bebo, he had Amrita Rao, Vidya, Priyanka and so on. He could not even stick to ONE of them. He finally had to go for an arranged marriage with a child. God showed you who cheated on whom.

RELAX Shahid.....it's still an open secret in Bwood that you were cheating right left and center and that's why she dumped by this loyal, classy woman. Consider yourself lucky that she did not cheat but tolerated you for too long. And, as good karma would have it, she found her man right away whose shoulders she cried on but he swept her away. Spreading fake news and being a victim does not work for you.

I've also heard many other directors, from Kjo and others, even Kajol saying how Kareena does not like to rehearse and discuss too much and she scares them before a scene as they're not even sure if she was paying attention to them but then she does the scene perfectly and she's mostly a one take actress.

Kissing scene happened before or after break up

Although Jab We Met is one of my all-time favourite. But after reading Imtiaz's interview, it showed his lack of self-judgement and vision. It all seems like JWM happened by mistake (still my favourite movie). Wonder why he later ended up making crap movies. Because he simply can't judge what is a right script!

Kareena was being herself in Jab We Met, the loud, OTT punjabi. All other films after that she was not able to leave a mark as she is not hard working. Kareena chooses five minute item roles with Khans and competes with Katrina for such films. She doesn't have it in her to do good roles like KR, PC, DP, Kalki and the likes. Kareena is equal to Sonam and Katrina now

Ur delusional get help. She floored critics with performances in movies like Kurbaan, Talaash, Ek main aur ekk tu, we are family, Heroine, ki and ka, and udta. Kareena doesnt compete with anybody she is a superstar. All the ones u mentioned dont stand a chance against her. She didnt take her careeer seriously if she did she would be on another level.

Pv post this.

This movie was amazing. I saw it as a young teenager, and it gave me such a positive, optimistic look on young love and moving on from heartbreaks. Usually Hindi movies are all, "Hum ek baar jeete hai, ek baar marte hai, pyaar ek baar hota hai...." (ironic considering my pic), but I loved the message of JWM sent: you meet an awesome person, sometimes it doesn't work out, you move on, seek and find love again! Just keep trying.

What a refreshingly optimistic, holistic message.

I believe the message was more like young people often take infatuation as love until they find someone who truly loves them and values them and they find true love.

love this movie. movies like this been gone like forever i don't know why bollywood stop doing like this anymore

i liked socha na tha and jab we met. rest was downhill.

One of the best movies, could just watch Geet over and over again

best film ever made! it had romance,comedy,flawless acting,brilliant music and the leads' chemistry was to die for

Wish Imtiaz picked Kareena for the girl role in Love aaj kal. It would have been more memorable if Kareena played it.

I remember Talaash director once said she was scared because despite Aamir and Rani who practiced their parts a lot Kareena would just get on the set and did her parts without practicing but in the end she did it with ultimate perfection. She is a naturally talented actress, hope she pick more meaty roles.

All the directors and actors all said this about her. She doesnt rehearse she just gives the shot and its bang on. She is a natural actress for sure. I just wish she does more meaty roles and doesnt waste her talent. If she did all the movies she turned down like kal ho na ho, fashion,ram leela she would be on a another level.

Love love love Jab We Met. A very well made movie. Aditya and Geet forever.

It is quite weird that the two actors who kind of made his career in a way have never been cast in his subsequent films ever again!

And none of his films after Jab We Met could attain its level also.

Best ever performance by Kareena.. adorbs!!!

I loved this movie

The end kissing scene was so so real. It gives me goosebumps

Shahid & imtiaz should collaborate with each other

Jab We Met is one movie where we really got to see Kareena’s acting skills instead of most movies where she just keeps repeating her Poo kind of role. She should definitely work with Imtiaz again if there’s a chance.

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