Interview Marathi

Madhuri agreeing to work in Bucket List validates it: Director Tejas Vijay Deoskar


In another exclusive interview with us, the director shares how the film has let him fulfill many wishes from his own bucket list.

Keyur Seta

Director Tejas Vijay Deoskar took upon himself the responsibility of launching veteran Hindi film actress Madhuri Dixit Nene in Marathi cinema. He had helmed just two Marathi films before, Ajinkya (2013) and Premsutra (2013).

In an earlier interview with us, he had shared how he got the actress on board.

Exclusive: Here’s how Tejas Deoskar got Madhuri Dixit on board for first Marathi film
 
Now in another exclusive interview, the director narrates the process of making the film, bringing back Dixit Nene and actress Renuka Shahane together after more than two decades and shares how the film has let him fulfill many wishes from his own bucket list. Excerpt.

You had a big responsibility on your shoulders of directing Madhuri Dixit Nene’s first Marathi film. How did the journey go according to you?

There was definitely a responsibility. Fortunately, the entire process was very fruitful and satisfying. We had a fantastic time preparing, and later on making the film. In that way, everything went very well.

Also, there is a lot to learn. This is a step-up for me as well. Although it’s a Marathi film, it’s no more a Marathi film. It has gone much beyond that. So, it was a learning curve for me.

I think this film has given everybody an opportunity to step-up their game. The entire team had this thing in mind that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we are going to be part of history, we don’t want to miss out on that.

Bucket List trailer: Madhuri Dixit Nene sets off a journey of self-discovery

Now that you have directed the veteran actress, can we say you have fulfilled one wish from your bucket list?

In fact, more than one. A lot of items [were ticked off]. I wanted to work with MD [Madhuri Dixit], so that is ticked.

I also wanted to work with a lot of other people like Renuka Shahane, Shubha Khote, Vandana Gupte and Dilip Prabhavalkar. All these actors are legends and I got to work with everybody. So, that is another thing.

I also wanted to make another mark in the industry. Everybody wants to secure their place. I think this film will give me that opportunity. It also marks the beginning Blue Mustang, our new company. That's another tick. So, there are a lot of ticks!

Karan Johar, Madhuri Dixit Nene and Sumeet Raghvan and Tejas Vijay Deoskar

You must have been asked this question a number of times. But still, I would like to ask you. How was your overall experience and rapport with Madhuri?

It was amazing. She is such a humble, down-to-earth and a fantastic person. She is a delight to work with. She is also known as a director’s actor.

So, it was better for me as she was following what I was instructing. She is such a big actor but she had no tantrums like, 'I will only do it this way'.

That is a great help for any director I would say. It is fine that we get an experience while making the film, but this is not only because it is Madhuri Dixit. It is also about the content. The very fact that Madhuri agreed to work in a Marathi film says a lot about the content. This validates the entire thing.

Bucket List song 'Houn Jau Dya': When Madhuri Dixit shakes a leg with her onscreen family

I had spoken to Renuka Shahane some time back. She said that Madhuri had spoilt people on the sets, so much so, that now they won’t like working with anyone else after this experience.

[Laughs] That is so sweet of her. Everybody actually enjoyed working with her. It was a lovely co-incidence that every actor had a scene with her. So that was a huge opportunity with everybody. I am sure they must have loved it. 

Whose idea was it to cast Shahane with Madhuri? How did Shahane react when informed that she will be cast with Madhuri again, after almost two decades?

It was my idea. I knew Renuka from before and we used to talk but we hadn’t worked together. I always wanted to work with her, but I couldn’t get an opportunity or couldn’t bring out something for her.

When I went to her with the script, she was very welcoming and very warm. Anyway she is a very warm person. She is lovely to work and interact with. I narrated her the story and told her that her part is not big in terms of length but the character is absolutely important and has great depth in the story. She realized this. 

Renuka Shahane and Madhuri Dixit

The moment she listened to the story, she said, ‘Go ahead, I want to do this.’ Then she asked me who is playing Madhura. After knowing it was Madhuri, there was no reason she would have said no. She gave her nod even before knowing that the film would have Madhuri. 

What was the reason for zeroing in on Sumeet Raghvan for the role of Madhuri’s husband? Was he your first choice?

Yes, absolutely! I believe in fresh and unusual casting. If we keep repeating the same thing, your film will look stale. People will think this is seen before. Sometimes it works, but I feel most of the times you should give a fresh perspective to the casting.

When it comes to her husband, her partner on screen, we absolutely wanted to make sure that he matches her personality, acting and persona. So, I feel Sumeet fits in everywhere.

Bucket List song ‘Tu Pari’: Madhuri Dixit, Sumeet Raghvan share romantic, scenic holiday

Even the the non-Marathi-speaking audience is excited about the film. Do you feel safe in terms of the film's box office performance?

It is very difficult to talk about box office right now. We can only hope. Nobody can predict the exact number.

We are also hoping that it does well at the box office. And it’s hardly few days now. So instead of speculating, we are just trying to enjoy the moment and it will help me bring out more confidence in the team.

Now that you have cast someone as big as Madhuri, do you feel there will be some pressure to cast another big name in your next film?

No, I don’t think so because casting always depends on the script. So, it doesn’t matter how big is the cast or the star. If that person fits the character, only then I will be able to cast him or her.