After Don, this is the second film the three of them have collaborated on.
Here they are sharing, How was the experience this time around?
This time, it was a challenge as we had to bring together two very different worlds. Rahul could have made Raees a niche film, but we've made it larger than life. We decided to go for huge sets and action sequences. Even though Raees is a gangster movie like Don, both are very diverse in their look; the former is earthy , while Don was more stylish and high flying, they added.
They asked, Rahul's brand of cinema is very different from the kind of movies you all are associated with. Was it difficult to find common ground?
Ritesh said, It was never my way or the highway. Rahul was always open to suggestions.If he felt his vision was right, he would try to convince us and vice versa. SRK: I am not trying to take credit away from niche films, whether it's a Parzania or a Chennai Express, but with Raees, we have tried to make a film with substance and turn it into a commercial one.
Further, they added, We didn't have any wrong intentions. In Raees, we didn't want to put in an item song for no rhyme or reason.
Laila Main Laila actually takes the story ahead. It is the turning point of the film. In the 80s, when they wanted to add an item song to the film, they would have dialogues like, `Sardar, banjaron ki toli aayi hai' and get away with it! We haven't even gone that far to create such a situation for the song.
The film was delayed for many months due to SRK's injury. Was it a major setback?
The gap was almost seven months and Rahul was very worried. He kept saying that we should start shooting as soon as we can. We had to shoot intense action sequences and had also constructed a huge set, so maintaining it was an issue. But we were surprised when SRK returned after all those months on the set, because he didn't forget any part of the continuity . He remembered exactly how the scene was.
There are many films based on the chor-police theme. How did you make sure Raees was different?
SRK: Yes, Chor-police films have been attempting a thousand times. So, we decided to have one good and one bad character, and both of them can't exist without each other. They have a love-hate relationship. A famous filmmaker had once told me that he wanted to make a chor police film with me. After several years, I gave him a chance to narrate the script.
Farhan, you were supposed to play Nawaz's role. Why did you opt out?
Farhan: Actually, it was just a discussion that we had in office. It wasn't decided that I would play the role. SRK: Initially , I wanted him to play the character because he's a wonderful actor and though we've worked together before, it was in the capacity of an actor and director. But there was just one problem -the police uniform. Both of us are too urban to get into it (laughs). It would have been a lot of fun. We even discussed it at length as it's a really nice role.