Desi-Box were recently lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to speak to the star of the film Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na, and nephew of world-wide Bollywood phenomenon Aamir Khan on his new release Break Ke Baad. This is what happened when we spoke to the handsome and talented 26year old, Imran Khan.
DB: Starting off, can you tell the viewers out there a little bit about the movie?
Imran: Well, the movie as you know is called Break Ke Baad. It’s about a couple who have been together for a really long time, and very early on in the film they break up… and the film really traces their journeys individually, showing how each of them grows up over the course of the year that they’re not together. You see how they grow up, who they wanna be like, what they wanna be like and basically how they end up falling back in love. It’s a Bollywood movie man, we have happy endings.
DB: (laughs) So, it’s a movie with a happy ending then? That’s good.
Imran: Yes, well, that’s the only kind we make!
DB: That’s fantastic! (laughs) Now Imran, can you tell us what drew you towards this project?
Imran: Well, you know the first time it was offered to me, I actually said no. I felt it wasn’t working. So, I read the script and I told the Director, “Dude, it’s not really coming together, it’s not bad but it’s not really there so I don’t wanna be a part of it but good luck”, and so I went on to do another film. I was around half-way through that film when I bumped into the Director again at a friend’s place and he said, “I’ve tweaked and changed the script around quite a bit, I’d really like you to read it again”. So, I felt that it had promise, so I said “Sure”, and the next day he gave me the script. I went home and I read it the same day, and called him that evening and said, “Listen, it’s incredible, I love it – I’m on board.”
DB: Wow! So what kind of aspects did he change? Was it more of the storyline or was it your character…?
Imran: Well, the character was always pretty much the same; it was more the storyline that had changed.
DB: Okay. So in regards to the storyline itself – you said the characters go their separate ways. When they do go off their separate ways and do their own thing, does any of that reflect your life at all?
Imran: Yeah, I actually really relate to the character quite a bit.
‘The first time it was offered to me, I actually said no. I felt it wasn’t working’
DB: In what ways?
Imran: He’s a very quiet sort of guy; he’s quiet and reserved but he’s very clear about his love for this one girl and his relationship. This is something that really touched me as I’ve been in a relationship for just over 8 years now, and I felt like I understood this guy; the way he felt, the way he talked.
DB: So, if you were given the option of ultimate stardom or the love of your life, what would you choose?
Imran: Hmmm… If it comes down to that then you choose the love of your life. Movies are something that I do because I enjoy them; because I like movies and I like working in movies but it’s not something that drives me. More than anything else, I want to have a happy life and I want to have a good life.
DB: Okay, going back on to the movie now. In this movie you play alongside Deepika Padukone as well as Sharmila Tagore. Tell us what it was like working alongside some of these other great stars.
Imran: Well Deepika is not really someone who I’ve really known before; I’ve met her socially here and there, but I didn’t really know her. But I’ve gotten to know her really well over the course of this film and I can’t say enough good things about her. I think she’s a very talented actor – someone who cares very deeply about the quality of her work, and puts a lot of thought and effort into that. And she’s also, genuinely, a very nice person. (Pauses)Sharmila Tagore… (hesitates)…I was a little scared of working with her because she has been a very big star in her time, and she’s very well respected as an actress aswell. The day before shooting with her I was pretty nervous; I would kind of fumble my lines here and there and, I don’t know, there’s just something about working with someone who has been in acting for 40 to 50 years or more. (Pauses) You’re acting in front of them and you’re like “Dude, I’ve been acting for a year!”. It’s like, how are you supposed to stand in front of them and say your lines? (Laughs)
DB: So, how did you overcome your jitters on the first day? Did they give you any advice or help?
Imran: The first day jitters never really go away. By the time you get onto the second day you manage to pull yourself together.
DB: Right, so I take it from then on it was a fantastic experience working with the team?
Imran: The crew was great! This was a very young team; a lot of people working on their first film, so there’s a kind of enthusiasm they bring to the set which is just awesome.
‘Movies are something that I do because I enjoy them; because I like movies and I like working in movies but it’s not something that drives me.’
DB: So in a sense, it was the kind of environment where everyone was constantly pushing for success?
Imran: Absolutely! That’s always the kind of situation that you wanna be in. It’s nice to work with young people; people that have something to prove.
DB: Was there anything that happened on the set that you’d like to share? Any mischief that you perhaps got up to?
Imran: Ha, I’ll tell you one thing man, I’ve never worked on a film that has partied as hard! We had a major schedule shooting in Mauritius, and every location that we shot at was far away from the hotel. So everyone evening, when we’d wrapped up shooting, we’d all pack into one little mini bus, about fifteen of us, and we’d party all the way back to the hotel. It was great fun!
DB: Ha-ha, brilliant! So out in Mauritius, did people recognise you or the others, or were you able to just blend in perfectly?
Imran: Ah no. Mauritius has a fairly sizeable Indian population and everyone knew we were shooting a film there; what film it was, who was in it, everything.
DB: This was Kunal Kohli’s first production. How was it working with him, and the director Danish Aslam?
Imran: Kunal was a very supportive producer. There was never a moment where he pressured Danish in any way, or where Danish had to compromise his vision at all. Kunal was a tremendously supportive producer. Danish, well this is his first film and as a first time film-maker he was very, very calm and confident. Anyone that has ever been on a film set will tell you there are a dozen crises a day – at any given moment, something is going wrong or something is falling apart, and you have to keep your cool, and he always did.
DB: So they both worked together well and put the film together well? Hopefully, we’ll see this hard work in the box office!
Imran: (chuckles) I certainly hope so!
‘I would kind of fumble my lines here and there and, I don’t know, there’s just something about working with someone who has been in acting for 40 to 50 years or more’
DB: This is your second film after I Hate Luv Storys. Do you believe there are great expectations on you from this movie?
Imran: Yeah, the thing is that if your first film is a hit film, the expectations are always very high. It’s certainly scary if you think about it, so I try not to, because you can start working for the wrong reasons. I mean, you have to look at each film on an individual basis to see what its strengths are, what it is that you can push about it, and how you can make it the best it can possibly be without thinking of other outside factors.
DB: On a whole, do you have good expectations of this movie?
Imran: I’ll tell you what. I’m happy with the movie; I’ve seen it and I believe it’s a good movie. It’s a movie that I am proud of.
DB: Great! What we want to know next is when are we going to see yourself and Ranbir Kapoor in a movie together? Are there any plans for this yet?
Imran: There’s nothing in the pipeline right now, but it is something that I’d really like to do. He and I have met a few times and spoken about it because last year we hosted the FilmFare Awards together and it was a great show; it came out really well and I had a great time doing it. I think he’s a tremendously talented actor, and he’s also a guy I like a lot. It is something I would really like to do, but unless it’s something that is really, really exciting and is something that is gonna be a really good film, I don’t wanna do it. Until that really perfect script comes along, I’m not gonna do it.
DB: Okay, that’s fair enough. How about yourself and your uncle Aamir Khan? Recently, there was news that he was going to be involved in a remake of Yaadon Ki Baraat and that you were going to play the role of his brother. Is this true?
Imran: No, no, that was always talk man. I do want to do something with him, and he and I have been talking about it, but we don’t know what it will be yet. We are definitely going to be doing something that both of us can work on together.
I mean, you have to look at each film on an individual basis to see what its strengths are, what it is that you can push about it, and how you can make it the best it can possibly be without thinking of other outside factors.
DB: Are you going to give anything away? Maybe the particular genre you’re aiming towards, or anything else?
Imran: We haven’t cracked that yet. We’re still trying to work out what it should be. All we know is that we want to do a film together, but we need to find the right subject and the right script.
DB: Okay, so what other actors are there out there that you’d really like to work with?
Imran: Salman Khan, I think! I’m a tremendous fan of his and I always really enjoy his work. Over the last few years, I think he’s really started to do some incredible stuff – Dabanng was a film which I just, LOVED. He’s someone I would really like to work with.
DB: How about actresses? Is there anyone in particular that you’d like to work with?
Imran: I’m working with absolutely everyone at the moment! (Laughs) I’ve just finished working with Deepika (Padukone); I’m shooting a film with Katrina (Kaif), and I’m about to start a film with Kareena (Kapoor), so I’m getting to work with some of, who I think, are the finest actresses in the country today.
DB: Brilliant! Moving on, can you tell us a little bit about one of your upcoming projects Delhi Belly?
Imran: Delhi Belly’s a comedy. It is an English film, one of the first few English films we’ve made in the country, and we’ve just locked an April release date for it.
DB: That’s out April 2011 – fantastic! And you’re also working on Mere Bhai Ki Dulhan?
Imran: Yes, it’s a film with Yash Raj Films and I’m co-starring with Katrina Kaif.
‘The acting thing happened literally for only one reason: and that’s because Abbas Tyrewala offered me a role in Jaane Tu.’
DB: Do you feel that your movies that are being released, are all along the same genre; that being romantic comedies?
Imran: Yes, you’re right actually. On the one hand, in India we do tend to make a lot of romantic comedies; it’s a very popular genre, and something, that we as Indians, like to watch. To a certain extent aswell, I think it may be down to the fact that I’m a young guy and I do look younger than I am so a lot of directors seem to see me playing these roles.
DB: Are we ever going to see you in an Action-Thriller?
Imran: Ah, I’ve done a couple of action films actually, earlier on, but they didn’t work out so well. (Laughs) But it is something that I would definitely like to revisit.
DB: We’ll be looking out for those then! Finally, we just want to go through some of your past achievements. What kind of emotions did you go through when you won the Best Male Debut award for the film Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na at the 52nd FilmFare Awards?
Imran: It was quite a special moment, but honestly it was not as special as when the film itself did well. Awards are a form of flattery and give you a sense of belonging to the industry, but at the end of it, it is a prize given to you by a jury of a few people. But when your film does well, that’s an entire country standing up in support of you and saying they like you. So that to me is worth more than anything else. For example, Salman Khan has never won an acting award in his life! But yet he’s one of the biggest stars in the country with one of the most loyal fan-bases that any actor has ever had.
DB: That is very true! Is it true that you originally wanted to be a director?
Imran: Yeah! I actually went to film school in LA, and trained to be a director. The acting thing happened literally for only one reason: and that’s because Abbas Tyrewala offered me a role in Jaane Tu.
DB: So if that hadn’t have happened, you would have been a director today?
‘I’m not capable of multi-tasking, I can’t really focus on more than one thing at a time.’
DB: Is it still something that you want to do in the long-term?
Imran: Absolutely… definitely! I’ve always had a great interest in the process of movie-making and I know it is something that I want to do. It’s not something I’m planning to do in the near future, ‘cause right now as an actor I’m getting to work with some really nice people, and people who I respect.
DB: Imran, if you had to choose between quality and quantity in terms of your career, what would you choose?
Imran: I’ve always worked on quality; I’m not capable of multi-tasking, I can’t really focus on more than one thing at a time.
DB: Cool. A few final thoughts then, before we let you go. Firstly we want to congratulate you as we hear you are tying the knot soon with your long-term fiancée?
Imran: Yes, thank you.
DB: Can we ask why it’s going to be a court marriage rather than a traditional ceremony?
Imran: Ah, well my family is Muslim and her family are Hindu. I didn’t want to tie it into any one religion; I wanted to keep it kind of neutral.
DB: So, are you going to give away the date that you’ve set?
Imran: That’s gonna be a surprise for everyone! We’ll make a big announcement when it’s all set.
DB: Fantastic! Well all the best for you there, and we wish you a happy married life together.
Imran: Thank you.
DB: Also, huge congratulations on your current release, Break Ke Baad, from all the team at desi-box. Are there any final words you’d like to leave for your fans?
Imran: I’d like to thank you all for supporting me; the viewers in the UK have always been very supportive of me, even at times when the audience here in India haven’t been as supportive, and it really does mean a lot.
DB: Thank you very much for your time Imran, and we wish you continual success. All the best!
Catch the romantic comedy, Break Ke Baad, starring the one and only Imran Khan in a cinema near you from the 24th November. It looks set to be another box-office smash-hit, so put aside a few pounds and make sure you catch this upcoming Bollywood Superstar in action.
BUY the album Break Ke Baad from iTunes below: