Jugal, how did Roadside Romeo happen? How did Yash Raj Films approach you?
I had not planned for anything. I simply love animation films and I see them a lot. I buy books related to animation, read them, try see the making of animation films on DVDs and last but not the least I am so crazy about them that I often go to cinema hall alone to see them. My producer, Aditya Chopra who knows about this fetish of mine one day informed me that he wanted to produce an animation film meant for Indian audiences, which is at par with international standards and that will really make us proud. He then requested me to come up with a story idea. Then I worked on things and suggested him an idea that he really liked. After that through regular sessions with Jaideep Sahni and Adi, we all started taking the story further and working on the script. We kept giving feedbacks to each other. It took almost six months to develop a full-fledged story and write the dialogues. I was writing for the first time and it really appealed him a lot. And then he straightway asked me to direct the film. I was surprised and said to myself that wow! The offer is coming from Yash Raj and Disney Films. I am really happy.
Would you prefer directing another animation film after Roadside Romeo?
I would love to direct another animation film but let Roadside Romeo release first and hope people like the film. I have been thinking about this film for the past three years. We have put in a lot of hard work in this film.
Three stars have given voices for the lead characters in the film; how was the experience?
Three very popular voices given by Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Javed Jaffrey and all I can say is that it has really helped the film a lot. They all are great actors and they all suit the characters. When I was busy writing the film the only thing, which kept revolving in my mind, was the fact that Romeos voice should have those of Saif Ali Khan, Lailas should be Kareena and Javed Jaffrey should only give Charlies voice. I have been observing their work for the past so many years and they are just fabulous. You really need good actors for animations because most of the things in an animated film revolve around voice only. For animation films you need actors with good voices. The three actors who have given their voices in Roadside Romeo have proved themselves and we all admire their work. I am really happy that they agreed to give their voices and also agreed to the project.
Tell us a bit about the music of the film?
The music of the film has been made in such a way thinking about the fact that its an animation film. The music suits the flavour of the film and I sincerely hope that everyone enjoys the music of the film.
Did Saif and Kareena encounter any problem while dubbing for the characters?
I think it was something new for them and they thoroughly enjoyed their characters. When they were dubbing for Roadside Romeo they did it with full vigor and poured their heart in it. While dubbing too, they improvised on so many things. What I personally feel is that because they enjoyed themselves so much while dubbing that they finally came up with the perfect voice for the film in the end.
You also have resorted to huge characters in fur for the promotion of the film, whose idea was it?
I think the characters in fur look very sweet and I am sure everyone will fall in love with them. We took a lot of time to design the characters and to design the fur too. Technically its a very difficult process but all said and done I am really very happy with the final outcome and the result. They all are looking very sweet.
Lot many production houses have now plans of making animation films, whats your reaction on it?
I hope so. I hope so. I have learnt this that lot many big production houses are now getting into the field of animation films, which is a fantastic thing. I am a lover of animation films and for me the more, the merrier is the case. I want to see all the films.
There is also this song in the film, which has been sung by Saif and Javed. How was this song conceptualized?
Yes, with Saif Ali Khan and Javed Jaffrey we have done a cool hip-hop number for the film. When I threw the idea to them initially, they agreed immediately. Saif himself is quite a musical guy and plays the guitar very well. Few months back he also jammed with Parikrama band and performed at many places. Javed, off course is a great dancer; he sings too and is multi talented. I think the song with Saif and Javed has turned out to be the most fun song of Roadside Romeo.
The film has voices of Saif and Kareena in the film who in real life happen to be couple, has their chemistry translated on the screen?
See, everyone dubbed separately and the same applies to Kareena and Saif as well. The only other voice they could hear on the headphone was my voice. But the fact that they are such good actors that even without anything in front of them they brought alive their characters. They have done a fantastic job in the film. We are lucky to have their voices in the film.
Thanks a ton.