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 ★ It’s Taken Time For People To Know Salman Is A Good Guy: Sajid Nadiadwala !

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PostSubject: ★ It’s Taken Time For People To Know Salman Is A Good Guy: Sajid Nadiadwala !   Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:28 pm

Priya Gupta,TNN | Jan 18, 2014

Sajid Nadiadwala, 48, has completed over 25 years as an independent producer. It was in 1955 when his grandfather Abdul Karim Nadiadwala first came to Mumbai from a small village beyond Baroda in Gujarat called Nadiad and started producing films. He made hundreds of them including films like Taj Mahal. His father, Suleman, too continued the tradition of making films. Sajid completed his CA and law, but had films running in his blood and joined JP Dutta as an assistant director on Ghulami at the age of 21. At 25, he became an independent producer and, not surprisingly, named his production company ‘Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment Pvt Ltd.’ Twenty-five years later he has turned director with his friend Salman Khan’s ‘Kick’. Excerpts from a conversation with him:

Why did you name your banner Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment?
My uncle’s banner was Nadiadwala Sons. Most companies were named ‘so and so sons’ so I registered ‘Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment Pvt Ltd’ as my grandfather was the reason we were in this line. The logo had the letters N and G and in between, it had a grandfather holding a grandchild’s hand that was meant to be me. Coincidentally, my son today feels that the little child holding the hand is him with his grandfather. I saw success as a producer for the first time in 1995 with back-to-back hits, ‘Jeet’ and ‘Judwaa’, and since then 90% of my films have been hits.

You always make entertaining films and not the serious ones. Is that by design?
My grandfather used to own theatres in Malad, so we got used to watching films since I was a child. Malad was our base and we had more than 5,000 acres and streets named after him there. Even today, we own several buildings there. Even if I reach home at one at night, I need to see some film. I see seven films a week. As I was a cinegoer myself, when I greenlight a film, I do it as an audience. I invest my own money as I am not a studio, so I make what I see, which is only entertaining films. I am not a serious guy, so I don’t like serious kind of cinema. God is kind that I have saved something, otherwise my finance is bad. I have never planned a budget, the cost is my budget. My team always asks me to stay out of costs, as every time I get involved, I increase costs. All my staff has been with me from the beginning. The same is true of my actors, be it Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar or Sanjay Dutt. Not only have I repeated them in my movies, but they too have repeated me. I have given a break to many new directors, including Shirish Kunder and Sajid Khan. This year, we have an interesting slate of different kinds of entertaining films, ranging from ‘Highway’, to ‘Kick’, to ‘2 States’, to ‘Phantom’ and ‘Heropanti’.

What is Salman Khan like?
Right from 1995, when we started our career, we have grown together. He trusts me so much that he has never heard my script ever for any of my films. It’s not that we talk much as we are busy in our own lives, but he trusts me. It’s taken so much time for people to finally know that he is a good guy, though he has always been like this only. Earlier, I would be asked, ‘Why are you working with Salman again?’ Now, he can be asked this question. We would tell the media that he is a nice guy, but no one believed it. Today, they know he is a good guy, so they won’t have a problem. There is nothing he did which was bad, but only through media we would come to know that he is a bad guy. As a director, I know he is very connected to his audience. It is nice for me to direct my first film with him.

You turning director came out of the blue. How did it happen?
Salman has been thinking of me being a director from 2000, so, he thinks that I am late by 10-15 years. I had met him for Kick telling him about my search for a director, when he said, ‘Why don’t you direct?’ I took a pause this time and, before I knew it, he had told some people that ‘Grandson is directing.’ He calls me ‘Grandson’ from the beginning due to my banner being called Nadiadwala Grandson. I am a little laidback and lethargic and find it difficult to reach the set as a director. Earlier, I would be sitting on the set having fun. Now somebody will come and call me also for the shot that I still sometimes find odd.

Due to delays in Salman not getting his British visa, the first schedule of Kick in England was wasted. Were you worried due to the increase in costs?
No, we treated it like a picnic and we enjoyed ourselves there. Some of what we shot there without Salman got wasted and some got used, but it happens many times while shooting a film. In Jaan-e-Mann, we were shooting and something went wrong and we had to break the set. We put up the set again after six months and again when Salman had some problem with his scalp, he shaved his head, so we had to break the set. Third time when we had to put up the set, the art director came and said to me, ‘The carpenter can close his eyes and put up the set now.’ I have realised that eventually only the Friday is important, the journey is not. If your time is good, it’s all okay, if your time is not on your side, nothing can help you. So far it’s been a good journey for me.

Excerpts fromTOI

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