Prakash Jha: I don’t direct my actors on the set

The Chakravyuh director talks of his style of filmmaking, and his desire to make a Rs 100 crore film

For the longest time director Prakash Jha has been making issue-based films without thinking about the BO collections. Over the years his projects have grown larger and his star casts now tend to include popular actors like Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and others. Jha has managed a casting coup of sorts with his latest project. He brings together Arjun Rampal, Abhay Deol, Manoj Bajpayee and newbie Esha Gupta in Chakravyuh. At the film’s trailer launch, the director was candid about his working style and ambitions.

He said, “I don’t direct my actors on the sets. We do exhaustive workshops for months and then just let the actors be in such real locations that they deliver their best. Before going on the shoot I had many readings with Arjun and Abhay – who had so many questions to ask, but I was not afraid of that. We had debates and there were suggestions made by the actors as well. We work a lot on the pre-production. We do workshops for even those character artistes who might have just one scene in the film.”

When asked about the ‘Rs 100 crore film’ trend today, Jha thought for a little while. He then said, “Who would not like to earn Rs 100 crore, par apne tareeke se ho to achcha hai. (But it would be better if it happens in a film that I make with my sensibilities).” We must say that it was very good to see a filmmaker who didn’t want to make films just to make money. We are now looking forward to watching Chakravyuh and hope it initiates a healthy debate about the Naxal issue.

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