As you probably know by now Hello, which opens on October 10th, is based on Chetan Bhagat’s best selling novel One Night At The Call Centre. If you have not read it, in the book Chetan Bhagat is the narrator of the story and his character is a writer. For the film, director Atul Agnihotri changed the character from writer to film star. To play such an important role Agnihotri felt he needed to cast a big star and he chose Salman Khan.
The actor-director said that it was not because Salman was a relative but the fact that he is such a big star that he decided to approach him for the role. According Agnihotri, Salman agreed because he liked the book and also the script for the film. “He read the script, liked it and wanted to be a part of the film. He wouldn’t do anything just because he is my relative. I’ve gone to him with many scripts and he hasn’t obliged every time. I can’t take advantage of him because he is a relative.”
Salman’s role is not a starring one; it is just a special appearance. However, it is not a blink and you will miss it appearance, Sallu is in the film for 25 minutes. Also seen in a special appearance is Katrina Kaif, who reportedly plays God. “It is through them that the whole story unfolds and they play a pivotal part in the film.”
The main cast includes Sharman Joshi, Sohail Khan, Gul Panag, Isha Koppikar, Amrita Arora, Sharat Saxena, and Dalip Tahil. Agnihotri said they had difficulty finding the perfect cast and his main goal was to make the characters believable. “They could relate with the characters. Gul came to my office and said she was Priyanka. Similarly, Isha is a fighter while Sohail is a rebel and very opinionated. Sharman was the only one, I felt, who had the sensitivity of Shyam. I didn’t want big names, as the essence of the story would be lost. Ultimately, it’s the content that matters.”
The story is about workers in a call centre and what happens when one night God gives them a call. That was the hardest scene to shoot according to the director, “The God scene alone took us 14 nights to shoot. I didn’t want anything to go wrong in that particular scene. So we shot that scene last.”
Go see what happens when God gives them a call when Hello opens on October 10th.