Speed ko speed breaker lag gaya tha! – Sanjay Suri

Films may come and go but what will never go is Sanjay Suri’s sense of humor. He may still be remembered most for his ‘My Brother Nikhil’ and ‘Jhankar Beats’ but over the period of time he has moved on with number of interesting projects coming up. Over to Sanjay as he talks about his hat-trick film ‘You and I’ with Onir along with other interesting projects up his sleeve.

Isn’t it ironical that there is so much of speculation about someone [Karisma Kapoor] who is still to get on board while the only actor who has been signed and that too as a male lead is not much written about?

[Laughs and says in his characteristic tone] Probably they don’t care who the leading man is! But one thing is for sure that out of ‘you’ and ‘I’, I am at least sure that who ‘I’ is because that’s me. Let’s see who turns out to be ‘you’ here!

But don’t you feel like being in news?

[Chuckles] Ya, why not? Probably you should write that Sanjay has walked out of the film. And then after 15 days say that he is back in the project. Probably that will make some news. Worse, why don’t you just write that Onir and Sanjay have split; and that too for good after ‘My Brother Nikhil’ and ‘Bas Ek Pal’? Imagine the news it would make!

So how did the film happen? You seem to be a regular with Onir now?

[Laughs] Well if Hamlet would have happened then that wouldn’t have been the case since for that kind of character, Onir was looking for a much bigger star. For that, the dates that he was getting were in late 2007 or early 2008. In that case, we decided why not make a smaller film in the interim rather than doing nothing. This is how ‘You and I’ happened and I am there on a hat-trick (smiles)!

Before ‘You and I’ comes, what else is in the pipeline?

There is this film titled ‘Kabhi Up Kabhi Down’ which I have just finished. The film has Perizaad Zorabian as the leading lady and just days before her marriage that happened recently, she completed the shoot. It was very much in nick of time but good that it happened. It is a nice light hearted entertainer that should keep you smiling throughout. Mark my word, it will be ‘Jhankaar Beats’ of 2007.

Coming to your hardcore masala films, what’s happening on ‘Speed’?

Usko speed breaker lag gaya tha! But now it seems to be back on target. Come December 22nd and we should finally manage to complete the film.

So what else is keeping you busy?

I have more or less shot for a film called ‘Salaam India’ which is 90% complete. Other than that I am doing a film which has been tentatively titled ‘Anubhav’.

What is ‘Salaam India’ about?

It is a film about cricket and is directed by a new director named Subhash Kapoor who is based out of Delhi. The film has a very strong sports feel to it and I play an under-15 cricket coach. The film is about this guy who is basically a cricket fanatic. It’s an interesting character for me since I haven’t played anything like that before. I am projected as this street-smart guy from North for whom cricket is just cricket, be it gully cricket or World Cup!

What does the film convey?

‘Salaam India’ challenges the basic philosophy of cricketers coming only from small towns and cities. It asks the question that why big cities don’t produce many quality cricketers. Is it because people in big cities are a distracted lot or does the issue lie elsewhere.

How about ‘Anubhav’?

It is directed by Rajiv Nath who is a National award winner film maker from Kerala. The film stars me and Gul Panag and has a lot of drama. I play a theater actor and the film narrates the tale about this guy in whose life some incidents happen that make it go for a spin. He steps out from what he has been doing all this while, makes some decisions, looses his way and ends up being a gigolo i.e. a male prostitute. So while he has been a sensitive man, a true lover and a loyal friend all this while, the incidents in his life turn him into a person that could never have been imagined by people around him.

Sounds interesting as well as shocking!

It is. And that’s because it challenges the basic assumption of to be or not to be! The guy tries to justify his acts and since he is a theater actor, he also believes in this Shakespearean saying of ‘Life is a stage and we are all actors in it’!

So is ‘Salaam India’ also coming during the World Cup in March/April?

That’s the plan!

But Milan Luthria’s ‘Hat Trick’ which is again based on cricket is coming during the same time?

I don’t think that should matter because first and foremost I don’t know what ‘Hat Trick’ is about. But one thing that I am sure is that the two films are going to be different and hence there won’t be a clash per se.

Looking at current state of Indian cricket, doesn’t excitement get diluted?

I would still take that positively because as you know, sport not just tells you how to win but also how to react when you loose and still take it all in good spirit. Yes, there is disappointment but we all hope that the tide changes soon. One thing I am confident is that once India wins 2-3 matches, all would be forgotten. [Laughs] Cricket stars would be back with their endorsements and advertisements, they would be seen all over again and we all would be loving them as before! Dekhna, fir kuch yaad nahi rahega ki hum kabhi match hare they!