MUMBAI: Filmmaker Shoojit Sircar on Sunday said following the success of his 2012 blockbuster “Vicky Donor”, he was offered an unimaginable sum to make its sequel, but he turned down the opportunity as he didn’t believe he could make the film again.
The film, starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Yami Gautam in their big-screen debut, chronicled the story of a sperm donor.
Penned by Juhi Chaturvedi, the movie earned widespread acclaim and even won the National Film Award for best popular film providing wholesome entertainment.
During a virtual session of the India Film Project (IFP), Sircar said, “Post ‘Vicky Donor’, I was offered loads of money to make its sequel. I had never imagined that kind of money would be offered to me just to make a part two. They told me, ‘Just do whatever but make it.’ But if you ask me to make ‘Vicky Donor’ again, I won’t be able to. I don’t think I am capable enough to make it again. I will fail miserably.”
‘Vicky Donor’ was Sircar’s third feature, after the 2005 war drama “Yahaan” and the unreleased Amitabh Bachchan-starrer “Shoebite”.
Post the film, Sircar went on to helm acclaimed titles in diverse genres like “Madras Cafe”, “Piku”, “October”, “Gulabo Sitabo” and his latest, “Sardar Udham”.
The director said he approaches his films like a calling, gravitating to what he wants to make next without following any pattern.
“If you are listening to one particular song, for a few days you just want to listen to that song. That track becomes you. It changes your life for that particular period. That’s what cinema does to me. I work with one particular idea and it wraps me up. For me, it is all intuition and then I jump into it,” he added.
His latest film stars Vicky Kaushal in the titular role of the freedom fighter, who assassinated Michael O’Dwyer, the former Lieutenant Governor of Punjab in British India in 1940, to avenge the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
Sircar, who is currently basking in the glorious reviews of the film which was released on Amazon Prime Video recently, said the toughest part of the project was getting the cast right.
The makers had first cast Irrfan Khan for the biopic, but after the actor exited the project owing to his ill health, Kaushal was brought in.
Khan passed away last year in April after a two-year-long battle with a rare form of cancer.
“If you ask me what gave me sleepless nights, it was when what happened to Irrfan and I had to move on from the project to Vicky. That was a huge conflict, a challenge. Yes, Vicky and I had met, discussed it with him, we both had committed (to the project). So we took it step-by-step. He tried the costumes and I felt slightly assured. Then we called for prosthetics to see if he looked the part, and did some photoshoots. I could see that innocence, enthusiasm in him,” the filmmaker said.
Kaushal said he was “realistic” about the opportunity and didn’t look at it as him replacing Khan.
“Those shoes you cannot step into, not me, not any other actor in the world. Those are special shoes of its own league. Insecurities come when you are attempting to do that. But there was never an attempt. I had to just give my best with complete honesty,” he added.
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