INTERVIEW: Rohit Shetty on KKK 11, Sooryavanshi and Cirkus: ‘Couldn’t have made Singham 3 in the pandemic’
Rohit Shetty opens up about the upcoming season of stunt based reality show, Khatron Ke Khiladi and explains the idea behind shooting for Cirkus with Ranveer Singh in middle of this pandemic. Interview:
Rohit Shetty returns as the host of Khatron Ke Khiladi for the seventh time and the filmmaker believes that it’s challenging to take stunts to the next level in every season of this stunt-based reality show. Shetty considers television to be a powerful medium of entertainment. “If you do good work, television makes you a bigger name. If Rohit Shetty is a brand today, television is the backbone of it. There was always this name, but the face has become popular from television,” he shares, adding further that it's important to be real as a host on reality shows.
“A few people will hate you; few will like you, but at the end of day, they will accept you the way you are. You can’t be fake and that’s what I did. I was myself and today, they love me.” Rohit started his journey in the show biz as a stuntman and is today among the biggest directors of Hindi cinema. He confesses that hosting Khatron Ke Khiladi takes him back to the good old days of him being a stunt artist. “It makes me feel so blessed,” he exults.
If Rohit Shetty is a brand today, television is the backbone of it. There was always this name, but the face has become popular from television
For Rohit, directing an action film and hosting a stunt-based reality show are two different ball games. He insists that there are a lot of cuts, takes and retakes in films, but Fear Factor is in one take, where the contestants can’t go wrong. “It’s a tedious show. There’s a lot of hard-work – physically and mentally - unlike any other show where you just sit in the studio.” Rohit’s directorial, Sooryavanshi with Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif in lead, was all set for a March 2020 release, however, the pandemic put the team in the spot. It has been almost 18 months and the film is yet to see a release. Shetty informs that it’s challenging to hold on to a film for such a long period.
“There is a lot of money involved to hold the film for so long. When the pandemic started, we thought it would be over in six to seven months, but now, no one knows what’s going to happen. It’s difficult to hold because at the end of day, even I am a producer, who is running a company. At one point of time, we were all like till when will we wait. But my team was ready to hold onto it,” he smiles, quick to add, “For me, the important thing right now is most for us to come out of this pandemic. We are predicting a third wave and that shouldn’t be taken lightly. We should first come out of it and then look upon Sooryavanshi.”
In the holding period, Rohit started another film, the comedy of errors, Cirkus with Ranveer Singh in a double role with Varun Sharma, Jacqueline Fernandez and Pooja Hegde. The film rides on a formidable ensemble with some of the best comic artists of Hindi cinema on board. Comedy is a genre that’s expected to flourish in the pandemic and post pandemic days. When asked if it was a conscious decision to make a comedy in tough times and Rohit responds, “Cirkus was conceived in April last year. The writing started in April and it went on floors in September. I always wanted to make this film and decided to go ahead with it because I thought it could be shot in four to five months in a controlled environment.”
It’s difficult to hold because at the end of day, even I am a producer, who is running a company. At one point of time, we were all like till when will we wait. But my team was ready to hold onto it
He adds, “I couldn’t have made Singham (3) in such an environment. I won’t say that I wanted to make a comedy, but, this is a film that could be pulled off in the pandemic. The challenging part of Cirkus is that there are 18 key characters in the film played by Johnny Lever, Murli Sharma, Sulbha Arya, Mukesh Tiwari, Tiku Talsania, Sidhu (Siddartha Jadhav), Sanjay Mishra, Ashwini (Kalsekar) and many more. They were all our responsibility on the set and that was challenging.” Around three-to-four-day shoot of Cirkus still remains, which Rohit intends to wrap up soon.
Buzz is, the filmmaker is doing a cop-based web series for Amazon Prime. Asked to comment on the same, he was rather diplomatic. “My thing is not finalized yet. The talks are on. But it’s good to see the rise of this medium. So many technicians are getting work, so many story tellers are able to tell their story and so many actors are doing well on the digital medium,” he shares. So, what next for Rohit? Is Singham 3 and Golmaal 5 in the pipeline? “I have two films lined up, so first, let them release and then I will start thinking on what to do next. I have just come back from Cape Town. I think I will take 3 to 4 months more to decide on my next directorial,” he concludes.