Vikram Bhatt strikes back with the film Ghost that releases in cinema halls today. So, it was the right time for us to speak with the talented director and also actor Shivam Bhargava who’s playing lead in the film.
During the conversation, the filmmaker not only spoke about the film Ghost at length, but also disclosed what made him shift to the horror genre and experiment with the digital platform. Then, he even spoke about casting TV’s favourite bahus and glamming them up.
Speaking about the film Ghost, Vikram said, “Whenever I get time between my shooting schedules, I read a lot. And Ghost is one such subject that I saw in a documentary. So in the year 1981, there was a man named Johnson on whom a very popular court case happened and the name of that court case was ‘The Devil Made Me Do It’. That man had murdered his house owner but his lawyer in the court defended him by trying to prove that it wasn’t Johnson who committed the crime, but a spirit inside him who murdered the man. Obviously, the judge wasn’t really convinced by this defence. This got me thinking that what if an incident like that happens for real. Imagine a couple staying together and the wife gets murdered; the husband has to bear the blame for her murder. Now, how will he prove that not him but the spirit has murdered the wife. In this film, Shivam is accused of murdering his wife and his lawyer Sanaya is trying to prove him as not guilty.” WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW:
Speaking of the film’s subject, Shivam said, “I am quite convinced by the subject as I have seen people getting possessed in real life. The character I am playing in the film is different from me, but I do agree that ghosts and spirits exist in reality.”
We were keen to know what pulls the filmmaker towards the horror genre so much as one after the other, he has been churning out films in that specific line. Over to Vikram, "I have made many successful movies right from Ghulam, Awara Pagal Deewana to Ankahi, but I realized that I would get a bigger audience for horror films who would wait to watch my work. So why not make films for them! I also make thrillers and dark movies. I want to state this that any director you name, they have set an image that they make films in a particular genre. Well, there’s an advantage to it as you don't have explain time and again about which kind of film you are making next. The way people come out with franchises, I feel it’s just a marketing tool. Because even if the story is new, due to the title, the audience already has an idea about what they can expect from the film even before it releases.”
Speaking of franchises, Vikram says, “I wanted to create a franchise of 1920 with Adah Sharma and Rajniesh Duggal. I made the first part, while the second and third parts were made by someone else.” Next, we told the filmmaker that we interviewed Sanaya Irani sometime back wherein during the chat she revealed about experiencing something paranormal in real life on sets of the film in London, to which he jokingly replied, “I feel that Sanaya is an alien and she is lying to us about being a human being.” He further says, “The story of Rebekkah is mine and it happened with me, Sanaya has just stolen it.”
The topic veered towards web shows and the director who has been creating web series with our lovely TV actresses cited the reasons of casting them. Said Vikram., "When I started making web shows, people told me, ‘You are such a big director and you making content for YouTube. You should direct for the big screen.’ I said that the size of the screen doesn't really matter. You are just trying to tell a story. It doesn't matter where the stories are being told. So the film stars need some kind of kick to attempt the web space. For instance when a Hollywood actor does something, they follow them. When Amitbah Bachchan started doing KBC, many actors followed him and now they are hosting shows on various channels. Basically they want little bit of a push and support so that they don't feel that they are going down in their careers. And now, when they see big Hollywood stars working on OTT platforms, they too don't mind doing it.”
He further added, "I remember after delivering a hit film like Ghulam, I wasn’t able to make a film for the next one and half year as I was also chasing A-list actors and they didn't have time. They also wanted to work with me but their schedules were not allowing them. Eventually, I got tired and started making films like Kasoor. During the shoot, a very big director visited my sets who at that time was shooting for his own film in the next studio and said after giving such a big hit (Ghulam), why are you making a low budget film with these newcomers and I replied him by saying that my need is to tell stories and if I am not getting a big star, I can't stop making films or wait for them to give me time. Years later, I met the same director who was not doing very well and he himself told me, ��I wish I had listened to you back then, as today I would have also survived in the industry by making small films.’ So, my advice to everyone is that don't refuse the subject because of the platform.
Speaking of casting TV actresses, Vikram said, “I have seen their work. Without that, I would not be able to cast them. So when I called up Nia Sharma for Twisted she didn't believe that it's me. Explaining the incident, Vikram recalls, “I called her and said, ‘Hi I am Vikram Bhatt and want to cast you for my web series’ and she casually answered me saying ‘Yes, okay’. I thought to myself ; badi badtameez si aurat hai yaar;. Then she told me you are not Vikram Bhatt. So I sent her a video on WhatsApp where I said, 'Hello Nia, this is Vikram Bhatt and this is my face. Please call me back and she immediately called me and apologised.’”
He added, “There is a whole pool of talent in the industry and we are just stuck on some names. So my idea to cast such talented people is because I believe if you want to make new stories, pick new faces.”
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