SRK as producer was a happy accident in Dubai: Director Abbas

By Dibyojyoti Baksi, IANS
Monday, February 21, 2011

MUMBAI - After playing radio jockey, anchor-presenter, theatre artist and actor in showbiz, Roshan Abbas has now turned director and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has produced his directorial debut “Always Kabhi Kabhi”. He says is it was a happy accident in Dubai.

“I was anchoring a live event with Shah Rukh in Dubai. We had some time before the show and he asked me what I was doing. I said that I have written a script and am looking forward to making a film,” Abbas told IANS.

“I said it’s a strange script, it doesn’t require big actors but needs a big production house. I said the film is about teenagers, but I want to do the film in a big way. It needs a big producer but freshers in the cast. He said we would talk about it in India,” Abbas told IANS in an interview.

For the first-time director, the Dubai trip turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The film will be out under Shah Rukh’s Red Chillies Entertainment banner.

He says it was “a happy accident”.

“I was absolutely lucky because I got the call for that Dubai show just two days before the event. It was a happy accident that I was doing the show. I reached there and I found the man who believed in the concept and gave me the freedom to do it. He thought it’s a big film,” Abbas said.

After coming back to India he got a call from Shah Rukh for script reading sessions. The film is inspired by Abbas’ 1999 play “Graffiti”.

“After coming here, he listened to me and said it was a good idea but it needs to be more cinematic as it was from a play. And by that time it was green lighted,” said Abbas who readied the script three years ago.

“By the end of 2008 I had my script ready, a bit sketchy, as I have transformed my play ‘Graffiti’ into a script. One of my friends had developed it into a bullet point screenplay. I wanted to make it a graphic novel at some point of time, so I had some rough sketches,” said Abbas.

For his first film, Abbas roped in Ali Fazal, Giselle Monteiro, Satish Shah, Lilette Dubey and Satyadev Dube.

An award-winning RJ, Abbas created over 3,000 hours of radio programming. On small screen he hosted shows like “Family Fortunes”, “Born Lucky” and “This is Your Life” and won best television show host trophy at the Annual TV Awards.

An alumni of Jamia Millia Islamia university, he feels venturing into film is the litmus test because one doesn’t know one would be able to engage a big audience or not.

“I did television, radio, but no one looked back to see what I learnt academically. I did my masters in film from Jamia. So finally I reached the stage where I sat down and realised that as a creative person cinema is the largest canvas you can get. It’s a big test as you don’t know you can engage such a big audience,” said Abbas.

Asked what took him so long to appear for the test, he said: “I wanted to debut as a director when monetary constraints would not guide me. I wanted the entire freedom to do what I want to do.”

And that he got from Shah Rukh who gave inputs but never imposed them on him.

“During the shoot he used to sit with certain portions with me and would have suggestions. On the script he had suggestions and the good part is that he had suggestions but never forced me to apply them,” said Abbas.

“He had a very big say about the music. It was uncanny,” he added.

In fact, SRK is already busy conceptualising some unique concepts to promote the film.

(Dibyojyoti Baksi can be contacted at

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