Ranbir is Pure, Deepika is Emotionally Perceptive: Imtiaz Ali

Imtiaz Ali on working with Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor and casting them in ‘Tamasha’

3 min read
Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and filmmaker Imtiaz Ali (Photo: Yogen Shah)

In an interview with The Quint, filmmaker Imtiaz Ali talks about his next film Tamasha and the reason behind casting ex-lovers Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone. Also, find out what you will never see in an Imtiaz Ali film.

Q: You are among the few filmmakers who have a dedicated audience. People wait for an Imtiaz Ali film. Do you carry that responsibility when you are making a film?
Imtiaz Ali: It’s not a load but yes it’s a responsibility that I don’t want to disappoint them. I do what comes naturally and if I can have a good time doing it, then it’s great. That’s the reason people go to watch my films. I’ll tell you where the responsibility part comes in, I am clear that I don’t ever want to put a wrong message by influential people from the society.

In my film you will never see a shot of smoking. I know cinema is a powerful medium and people may pick up what they watch. I won’t put a communal thought either and nor will I show scenes of disrespecting women, not even as a joke.
Imtiaz Ali as Yakub Memon in<i> Black Friday</i>
Imtiaz Ali as Yakub Memon in Black Friday

Q: But you played Yakub Memon in Black Friday. Were you okay with that?
Imtiaz Ali:
That was early in my career and that was my friend Anurag Kashyap arm-twisting me into doing it.

Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in <i>Tamasha</i>
Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in Tamasha

Q: When and where did the idea of Tamasha come from?
Imtiaz Ali:
This thought played in my mind for very long, basically who are we? Sometimes people have to pretend what they have to be, than what they actually are. In front of people we all have to behave in a certain way, we are in some character. We can’t be who we are. I had this thought even as a kid. I think it’s coming from there.

Q: I’m sure Ranbir and Deepika fit the role but was there also a thought of getting them together to create a buzz since they are the most talked about ex-couple?
Imtiaz Ali:
No, the idea was not to get them together, it was of casting them in these parts. Together they are very good because they are good actors and because they respect each other. They are two professionals who trust each other.

Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone at Mumbai Central to promote <i>Tamasha </i>(Photo: Yogen Shah)
Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone at Mumbai Central to promote Tamasha (Photo: Yogen Shah)

Q: You know Ranbir and Deepika very well, tell us about their personalities, a side that we may not know.
Imtiaz Ali: I would say Ranbir is very pure, he does not use tricks as an actor. Deepika, I would say is very sensitive, very perceptive. She is emotionally perceptive.

Q: Do they give inputs when you all are filming? And are you okay with their inputs since you trust them ?
Imtiaz Ali:
I am someone who is happy taking inputs. When you want somebody to put in his or her heart, you will have to listen to them also, else cinema won’t be complete.

Cinema is not a medium of one person, it’s collaborative. So Ranbir and Deepika don’t come in to improvise as scriptwriters but they come in to improvise as actors.

Q: Do you get time to watch movies?
Imtiaz Ali:
I do get time to watch movies but when I am directing, there is a lot of work on my own movie, that’s the time I cut down on watching. I would watch anything, the other day I watched a film called Snowpiercer, it’s a futuristic film about an attempt to counteract global warming, which results in an ice age and where there are only a few survivors in this world. I like films that are cultural and have locations which most likely I will never visit in my life.

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