"For me, Ranbir was a bigger superstar during Wake Up Sid days" - Ayan Mukerji

Over three years after Wake Up Sid, writer-director Ayan Mukerji is back with Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani . While the central protagonist is played by the same actor, Ranbir Kapoor, it is apparent that the Karan Johar production is much more lavish, extravagant and ambitious in its scale and presentation. The filmmaker is amused though by the 'lavishness' of the film being the talking point and truly believes that at the end of the day, he has just brought on screen the kind of stage, setting and milieu that went with the story he had in hand.

Is Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani that film with which you have adapted yourself to the quintessential Bollywood scheme of things?
The truth is that it wasn't as conscious as it seems. I think there is a perception that when I made Wake Up Sid , it was designed to be a niche effort whereas this time the idea is to make a quintessential Bollywood blockbuster. Honestly speaking though, when Wake Up Sid released then in my own head it was a much bigger hit that it eventually turned out to be at the box office (smiles). I knew that the actress (Konkona Sen Sharma) wasn't the most commercial actress but then I thought that the emotions of the film would connect with everybody. Actually, I would have wanted the film to do even bigger business. Now today if people are finding Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani to be so deeply commercial with statement like 'hitting the bull's eye' being made around me, I am in a happy zone. However, it's designing has not been done consciously by keeping the box office in mind.

You worked with Ranbir during Wake Up Sid a few years back. Is there any transition that you see in him today?

For me, he was a bigger superstar back then when compared to today. I will tell you why. See, back then when I wanted to start as a director, I was also newer in the industry. At that time reaching Ranbir was a far fetched goal. I know that it wasn't easy to pull off everything. Over the years though we have become friends and hence reaching out is no more an issue. We have had a lot of interactions and I never felt that I was interacting with this huge superstar. Reason being that he too has never given me such vibes and is very grounded. Today when the film is releasing, I know that he is much more anxious for me than himself.
How about Deepika Padukone? After all, she also happens to be a very dear friend of yours. 
Post Cocktail , there has been a revolution in Deepika's career. A lot of amazing things are being said about her. Everyone feels that she has got better with time. However if you ask me then I had really enjoyed her performance back then as well in Love Aaj Kal . In certain moments of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani too, she is as good as the best, say at par with even Kajol. When a right role and right film come together for her, she always rocks.

It was a rocky journey during the making though since the film did take it's time to reach the finishing line and there were some delays as well during the shooting schedules. Wasn't it frustrating at times?
Not really. I have had the privilege to see a lot of films being made around me so I am aware that such things can happen. If there are some issues here and there then you can feel frustrated but then you have to keep an eye on the end result. If a film takes one year to be completed, but that's because it is required to make it correct then it's fine. We started on 20th March last year and are releasing it 14 months later. I guess it is nothing. For my next film too, I would gladly give a year again if it really requires so.

So from the montage world of Wake Up Sid , how has the transition been to the song and dance world of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani ?
Well, there is good fun in not just making something niche but also to tell a tale which isn't entirely new (winks). Of course, the honest truth is that there is more to the film than what meets the eye via promos. You get to see so much about the lives of Ranbir and Deepika at different points in life and their journey together. However, even if you say that it all actually looks like yet another boy meets girl tale then guess what, I won't mind that. Inside me, I don't have a desire to say something that has never been said before. If what you see on screen seems clichéd to me then, I am fine with that; I love clichés myself (smiles).

Source - bollywoodhungama


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