Saturday, 13 August 2022
'Sunny is simple, clumsy and doesn’t wear stilettos all day'

'Sunny is simple, clumsy and doesn’t wear stilettos all day'

Milap Zaveri has written many hit films like Masti, Grand Masti, Shootout At Wadala, Main Tera Hero and Ek Villain. He has directed Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai. This week, his second directorial Mastizaade hits the screen.

Known for raunchy comedy, the film, starring Sunny Leone in a double role, has run into into many controversies — from Censor trouble to his leading lady’s interview to a English channel’s uncouth interviewer and Riteish Deshmukh taking to Twitter to protest against being used in the trailer, despite his contract saying otherwise. Here, Milap talks about dirty dialogues, unwillingly upsetting his friend Riteish, and the two sides of Sunny.

Let’s talk about that Sunny Leone interview that broke Twitter.
She was phenomenally brave. She was so gracefully and showed so much poise, even though she was disturbed and uncomfortable. She has answered all those questions before. They were just put across in a decent manner. It’s amazing the way the whole country and world has supported her — Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Alia Bhatt, Shahid Kapur and Anil Kapoor — and so many more supported her. I am really happy at the love that she has received. Recently, we were in Delhi and women kept coming up to her and saying that they respect and stand by her. It was amazing!

A lot of people also felt it was a PR stunt.
Even if the greatest PR team in the world sits and plans for months to come up with something like this, it’s impossible, not going to happen (laughs)! Also, Rangita and I wouldn’t demean her just to get publicity for our film on national TV.

Please continue.
You should respect every man and women for what they are. Everybody deserves to choose their path. From the day I met her, I have respected her and today that’s the reason why Sunny and I are such good friends.

Tell us about directing Sunny.
My first meeting with her was during Shootout In Wadala where she did the Laila song. For Mastizaade, I met her husband Daniel with Rangita at a coffee shop. Within five minutes, he was in splits on the floor and called her to say he was getting us to meet her right then. Once I showed the final script to her and she agreed to do the film, I never changed a word or tried to change to something that would embarrass her and she appreciated that. Like the shot in the trailer where her choli bursts open, that was Sunny’s suggestion. It was her faith in me that she did it. Sunny always says it was her dress designer’s fault that the choli was made so tight with tic-tac buttons and when she breathed, it was opening. She asked me if she should do that shot. For her to make a suggestion like that, just shows that, somewhere we all bonded so strongly as a team.

Some of her producers have complained that she was uncooperative when it came to skin show.
I was told by some people before I started the film that Sunny was difficult to work with, she’s a problem and I must say they are absolutely wrong. If you clear a script with someone right at the beginning then there is no problem. If you dump a new surprise on any actor every day, then they are going to react and that’s what happened with Sunny in the past, where people, just because of her past thought they could talk to her however they wanted, behave with her however they wanted to. I never deviated from what I had told her in the script and even if once she said, ‘Milap, I am not comfortable’, within seconds, I changed it to make her comfortable. I have worked with so many actresses and actors, but I have never worked with someone as professional or cooperative as Sunny. At the end of the day, I have made an adult comedy and it’s supposed to be naughty fun. But there’s no sex, no lovemaking or kissing in my film. It’s humor and comedy. It’s like the American Pie series or The Wedding Crashers or We Are The Millers. That is why I prefer these films to be called adult and not sex comedies because every adult above 18 can watch it.

Your leading lady is quite different from her image. Isn’t she a home-to-set and back-home person?
Yes. There are two sisters in the film — Lily who is a dork, introvert, geek, nerd and clumsy. That’s Sunny, she’s clumsy. She’s a tomboy. Like she says, she doesn’t roam around in stilettos and a bikini all day as people think she does. Sunny is a very simple girl madly in love with Daniel. For Sunny, her world begins and ends with her husband. All she wants to do is complete her work and go home. It’s so obvious they are so happy together. When she came to the sets, she was Lily and used to hate the scenes where she was Laila. She said she’s always been Laila for her films. Rangita and I would have to tell her ‘Lily ka pack up ho gaya, we want Lailalook hot and sexy!’ She used to love every scene that Lily was in. Sunny loves doing simple things like after shooting she didn’t want to go and party but just enjoy being with her husband, having a pizza or going home or a quiet dinner with us. She’s so busy with films and endorsements but every moment that she gets she only wants to spend with Daniel. She wasn’t allowed to eat pizzas which she loves as she had to wear bikinis every day (laughs). Sunny’s genuinely a geek in real life and leads a very simple life. She doesn’t want drama in life.

You have been associated more with raunchy dialogues. Can you make a clean film?
Yes I am making one like that next. But that doesn’t mean I won’t do aMastizaade again.

How do you come up with those naughty lines?
(Laughs) I think everyone has a naughty side to them. I grew up watching and enjoying all kinds of cinema. I love drama, adult comedies, serious movies. When Grand Masti did so well, it opened people’s eyes to the fact that this genre could do this kind of business hence Mastizaade was a natural follow-up to that. But as a director, I would love to make a film likeEk Villain. It’s one of the most brilliant films that I have been part of. But I always feel that there’s a time and place for everything.

Riteish Deshmukh is upset with you because of breach of contract. He did a guest appearance for you on the condition it would not be used for promotion. But it was. Comment.
All I would like to say is that he has always been my friend, he still is my friend and come what may, he will always be one of my closest friends. I will always be grateful to him for being part of Mastizaade. That’s all I would like to say on this.

Was Vir Das roped in after Ritiesh said no to the film?
No. It wasn’t like that. I knew that he wasn’t doing adult comedies anymore. He was very clear about it. I wanted him to be a part of the film in some way or the other. He was part of my first film. At that point, he wasn’t ready to do an entire adult comedy, so I didn’t insist and asked him to do a cameo instead. Riteish was gracious enough to do the film.

What’s your equation with Tusshar Kapoor, whose home production released a week before your film.
He is my friend and will always remain my friend. Tusshar chose not to promote Mastizaade. It was his decision. I would have liked him to promote the film, but after a point what can I say about it?

What do you enjoy more. Writing dialogues, screenplay or directing?
I think direction and dialogues are my loves. I have never been excited about screenplay writing. I did it a lot — sometimes well and sometimes badly, so for Mastizaade, I didn’t write the screenplay, Mushtaq Sheikh did. It was important to get an outside perspective, I get so involved that I can’t be objective. I have done the dialogues. It has made me what I am today. Dialogues are my bread and butter and direction is my paratha, so I would like to have both.

Will you continue to do dialogues for other films or only for your films?
I would one 100 per cent continue to write for my dear friends like filmmaker Sanjay Gupta, Mohit Suri, David Dhawan or any director who wants to work with me. I will always want to keep writing because that is my daal-roti and I am what I am because of my dialogue writing and I love it. I have got a certain amount of success and acceptance in that, so I would never want to stop writing. Someday, I would love to write a film for another director. Here’s a message I strongly want to tell the film industry — come to me for dialogues irrespective of whether I am directing or not.