"You can say that Karzzzz is as big as a Khan release"
The moment of reckoning has arrived. Himesh Reshammiya has given the test and the audience's verdict is keenly awaited. As the film is just hours away from hitting the screens, Himesh Reshammiya gets into an exclusive two-part chat with Joginder Tuteja. Here is the first half of the conversation with the man who returns to big screen. This time, without a cap!

After close to a yearlong of generation of hype and hoopla for Karzzzz, the film is finally releasing.
Yes, last one year has been quite eventful. Now is the time for audience to pass its verdict. It's a slick 2 hrs 18 mins film. I am really expecting it to take a good opening. Exhibitors and distributors have been mighty excited about the prospects of the film. We are bringing the film out on close to 1200 prints globally, which is historic and next only to Singh Is Kinng.

We are bringing the film out on close to 1200 prints globally, which is historic and next only to Singh Is Kinng

1200 prints! Now that's quite a number, something which one relates only to a Khan film. Are we expecting the film to sustain similar print count in second week as well?
To answer you first question, 1200 prints is reasonable since we are making our presence felt in single screens as well as multiplexes in a big way. Yes, you can say that Karzzzz release is as huge as a Khan film. About the second weekend, how can I say anything at this point of time? It would depend completely on how the audience reacts to the film in the first week. In the past, it has happened that shows had to be increased in the second week run of a film. You never know, this may happen in the case of Karzzzz too!

The way Karzzzz has been hyped 24X7, doesn't it scare you a little? Don't you feel you should let the film do the talking now rather than so much of hype resulting in people becoming extra demanding?
See, no hype is big enough. In today's market scenario, you have to pitch your film in such a way that the least it does is receive a very good opening at the box office. Because if that doesn't happen, piracy would only end up killing it. Moreover, hype created for Karzzzz is justified. It is coming after the success of Aap Kaa Surroor; the songs have been chartbusters while the talkie promos have been received very well too. When the going is good, why not keep the momentum on?

You must be thankful to your producers for this.
Absolutely. I am happy that Bhushan (Kumar) is getting all his marketing skills in place to pitch the movie as well as the music, in just the right manner. As a producer, he understands the medium and it is due to his marketing acumen that as many as 8 songs from the film have been placed across all music channels in 1 and a half months flat. It is unprecedented!

Would earning mega bucks over the opening weekend be satisfactory enough for you?
Good opening over weekend is the demand of the market but for me to be successful as an actor, the film has to do very well in three stages - opening, acceptance and sustaining power. This would be the true measure of the film's success.

Bhushan Kumar is getting all his marketing skills in place to pitch the movie as well as the music, in just the right manner

Somewhere it was mentioned that your son is your biggest critic and likes predicting about Bollywood movies and music. What does he have to say about Karzzzz?
As you know, he was bang on about the music of Karzzzz. After the very first listening, he declared that it would be superhit and that's how it is today. He saw the first copy of the film, which just came out and immensely liked it. He has assured me that it would be loved by the audience and for me his assurance is like gospel's truth.

Has he been right in prediction of films, which haven't starred you?
Absolutely, he saw Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Naa, Race and some time back Rang De Basanti and said then and there that these movies would be huge successes. Basically, he is just like any other normal kid of today who is cued into Bollywood in a big way. He is a movie buff and his judgment is mostly right. Now people can sometime go wrong as well though I sincerely hope that it doesn't happen for Karzzzz (smiles)!

Himesh, coming to you acting in Karzzzz, did you really feel that you could carry it off?
Basically, I believe that every true movie fan has an actor hidden in him somewhere! Agar aap 10-20 saal se filmein dekh rahe ho to kuch acting toh aap seekh hi jaate ho! Yes, it's a different thing that you may or may not realize the potential of an actor in you. I sensed this a few years back and that is when I decided to take the plunge. Karz is my favorite film and I had to give it a tribute in some way. I am not trying to prove a point because I am not even 1% as good looking or a good dancer as Rishi Kapoor!

And you were still confident?
For me, Karzzzz is all about the belief that a common man can be a hero as well. He may not be the most good looking or dashing but he has in him the willingness and passion to do well. On the sets, I was a newcomer with great actors like Urmila Matondkar, Danny Denzongpa and Gulshan Grover around. I had to really work hard to make sure that I am able to stand up in front of all these seasoned actors. So my 'mantra' was to act 'dil se' and leave the rest to Satish Kaushik. He is the one who worked on each and every nuance of mine and corrected me at every step. Moreover, with a face like mine, I had to be extra careful that I don't do anything silly!

You seem to be openly criticizing your looks?
'Ab kya karen, jo hai usse badal to nahi sakte! ' My sister Roopa has been working on my styling for over the years. Maybe plastic surgery could be the next option!


Watch this space for the second and concluding part of this Exclusive conversation with Himesh Reshammiya.