Q. There has been a certain delay in the release of Drona, what transpired with the film? A. The shooting for this film began in December 2006, and the shooting continued on a regular basis till December 2007. That means that we all worked continuously for one year on the shooting portion of this film. Apart from this, the film also has many special effects and judging by the volume of the special effects it takes almost eight to nine months to finish those effects for the film so it clearly goes on to show that if we finished shooting the film in December 2007 and the post production by September then we are on time.
At the music launch of Drona, Abhishek gives the background to Drona to Rajan Singh
Hi Abhishek, how does it feel?
There has been a certain delay in the release of Drona, what transpired with the film?
The shooting for this film began in December 2006, and the shooting continued on a regular basis till December 2007. That means that we all worked continuously for one year on the shooting portion of this film. Apart from this, the film also has many special effects and judging by the volume of the special effects it takes almost eight to nine months to finish those effects for the film so it clearly goes on to show that if we finished shooting the film in December 2007 and the post production by September then we are on time. Our distributor and co-producer Eros decided that October 2nd would be the best date to release the film and for this precise reason, the film is releasing on October 2nd.
Abhishek in Drona
Tell us a bit about the music of the film also one thing, which appeals to you, most about the film.
I think for this film its going to be very tough for me to choose anything and the only reason is that I am very closely associated with this film. This film has literally grown up in front of me. I have seen the film take shape during the concept stages and then to the screenplay and finally to the final edit. Music is something, which has turned out to be fabulous. Dhruv has given an excellent score. I think the music suits the story and screenplay of Drona and fits the environment perfectly. I think this film has a new sound and full credit must go to Goldie and Dhruv for coming up with a perfect score. I am pretty sure you must have seen the trailer and heard some of the tracks of the film. Its got beautiful music and there is a bit of everything in it and the most important part is that it perfectly fits in the film. We wanted certain modernity to the sound, which is juxtaposed with a rustic feel to the visuals. I like this balance. Its something new that we have done and I definitely think that they have done a fantastic job.
I guess, the premise for Drona was written by you and Goldie Behl when you were both kids. Is it true?
There is a story for that, which I have narrated in the past too. When Goldie and I were kids, when he was six and I was five years old, we had gone to Goa were Mr. Ramesh Behl and my father were busy with shooting the climax portion of this film called Pukar. Behl uncle had directed the film and my father was acting in it. In the climax sequence my father and Prem Chopra were to undergo a sword fighting sequence. When we reached the sets we both started playing with the swords and unfortunately we broke all the swords. Later we both were obviously punished and were ordered to go off the sets. I still remember we came back to the hotel all upset and sulking that our fathers have thrown us off the sets. It was then that we both decided that when we grow up we would make a film with a sword sequence in it. Now when we have finally realized that dream somehow it gives a feeling that we have come a full circle.
Is Drona a superhero film?
No, Drona is not a superhero film, unfortunately. I would have loved if it were. Drona is a king and not a superhero.
But all said and done this film would surely be compared to Krrish.
I dont think so, that there will be any comparison between the two films. Both the films are two unique worlds. I think Krrish was a fantastic character and a fantastic film done by a very dear friend of mine. We all have loved the film and the nation has loved the film. I hope the nation loves Drona the way they loved Krrish. Krrish ended up being a saviour and Drona is a saviour. Tomorrow we may get together and do a film - Drona and Krrish, which will be cool.
Tell us a bit about the look you sport in the film. The trailer shows you in long hair and beard.
Unfortunately Goldie was very sure that he wanted long hair in Drona. He wanted long hair and a beard too. His only contention was that it would add some regality to the look. Like I said earlier that Drona is a king so Goldie felt that long hair and a beard would look good on the character. When Goldie had done the storyboard he had the vision of Drona with flowing hair. I grew my hair for the film. Look I have been a boarding school boy so I am used to short hair. Keeping long hair was very difficult for me and to keep it off my face I started wearing a hair band. Some people thought that it was a fashion statement from my side, little did they knew that it was to keep off hair from my face. It looks fantastic in the film.
If you were to pick any special aspect of the film, what would that be?
Well its bit scary to answer this question because if the visuals of the film have not answered this question then its a thing for us to be worried about. I think Drona has a unique look and a unique story. Its definitely the biggest film I have been part of my career till date. The visuals are immensely exciting to me. The reactions, which we have received so far from the trailers, have been very good. I think its working and once people see the film then they can decide for themselves. It will make them see the film again and again.
In the film you also have a bodyguard who happens to be a lady. Thats very astonishing.
Do bodyguards have to be ugly? I think its a nice character, that too of a lady. Its unique that Drona has a bodyguard who is a lady. We are all here for women empowerment.
Ok, does Aishwarya protect you in your everyday life like Priyanka in the film?
Come on she is my wife after all, she protects me every day.
The film also has lots of animals. Did the animal welfare board trouble you at any point during the making of this film?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. There are animal welfare laws in the country and for the film we have strictly abided by those rules and regulations. They asked us few questions, which they are legally allowed to do so. We showed them all the required certificates, which were given to us by concerned authorities, and after they went through them they were fine with it. There is legality with it. The officers were fine with everything.
We see you in an entirely new look and judging by the promos lots of new things for the first time are in store for us.
When Drona was about to be launched it seemed to me as if its going to be my launch film. Normally what happens is that whenever we act in a film for the first time then we try to incorporate everything in the film, from song and dance routine to action sequences. The preparation, which we did for this film, was very intense. I had to brush up my writing skills for the film. There is a lot of writing in the film. Then I also had to learn scuba diving, as there is a full underwater sequence in the film. The film also has lots of wirework so I trained with wires. It was a complete training in terms of an action film because there was everything you could think of in terms of an action film. It was a real intense preparation of six months for us before we actually started shooting for the film.
How was the whole experience doing this film?
I had a blast making this film. I was like a kid in a candy store. I did whatever is required for becoming an actor. It was a blast for me; I did stuff like riding horses, taking my heroine on the horses jumping in water and other things. As a guy who had always loved to do action, it was a dream come true for me. I keep telling Goldie these days that cant we have another dream. I would love to see Drona grow as a franchise. It has all the potential to be really something big. I really hope Goldie finds an inspiration to write a sequel to it.
There is also this news floating around about the three swords used in the film. Whenever they got separated they created havoc, is it true?
Yes, it was really weird. The swords used in the film are made of certain fibres. It was forged in South Africa and three different kinds of swords were made for the film. The material that was used to make the sword included acrylic, fibre and titanium. Whenever we separated the three swords from each other, we either experienced hail or our sets got rained completely. Something or the other would go wrong. Later someone told us that if the three swords were kept together then nothing would happen. And after the three swords were kept together we did not faced any problem. It was all really weird. The film has lots of mythology, mystery and magic and to see that happening in real life at the same time was wonderful.
There is also something written on the sword.
The inscription on the sword is Dronas oath. Drona takes an oath to protect the universe and thats the inscription on the sword.
Now we really want your reaction on the painting that Salman Khan has done recently. Its titled Aishwarya.
I dont know and I have no clue about this. You guys only have informed me that he has made such as painting. I would love to see it.
Salman recently called you as brother, whats your take on it?
Salman has been my senior and has been very supportive of me. He has been very sweet to me and continues to be so.
There was also news about Goldie Behls dictatorial behavior on the sets.
Goldie is too dear a friend and too dear a director to be so rigid. The greatest power that Goldie has as a director is that he is a complete sponge. Before we started shooting this film he has clearly told every person associated with the film that if they have any suggestion of them film they were free to tell him. Thats wonderful for a director who is only making his second film. He was open on the sets and is not the least defensive about his craft. Goldie maintained a very interactive process on the sets and he really looks forward to actors participating on the sets.
Finally apart from you and Priyanka Chopra, Kay Kay too plays a very pivotal role in the film. Tell us a bit about his character.
For the story we went through a lot of casting. For Rais Raiszaada, who is the villain in the film we were not sure how we wanted to pitch him. Magically we stumbled upon Kay Kay Menon and I thank God every day that Kay Kay did the film and thats so because what he has brought to the character, I dont think so that any other actor would have done the same to the role. He has done a fantastic role, I think to play a very flamboyant character and not going over the top is a very tough thing to do. He has done a wonderful job in the film. He has managed to entertain and entertain you at the same time. Its a deadly combination. He has done it effortlessly.
Thanks a lot.