His first film as director is I Hate Luv Storys, one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2010. We are talking about Punit Malhotra, who not only took on directing but also wrote the script of the film that stars Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor. Though a newcomer to being at the helm, he is not a newcomer to working in the industry. He sharpened his directing chops on films like Dostana (2008), Paheli (2005),Kal Ho Na Ho (2003), and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001) as assistant director, and also had aspirations to be an actor. However, acting has taken a back seat and he is ready to release his first film to the world. I caught up with the director on the day he saw is first print and we had a fabulous conversation about the experience of making I Hate Luv Storys and Punit’s feelings just a bit more than a week before the release.
What inspired you to make I Hate Luv Storys?
I basically wanted to make a love story. I just wanted to make a cute, nice love story and I had a lot of free time on hand (laughs). So, I started penning down some thoughts of mine and they kind of materialized really well. That is were it came from.
Tell us about casting Imran.
I wrote the story and it was set against the backdrop of a film being made in the Hindi film industry. I needed a guy who could really pull off the fact that he really does not believe in the rom-coms that are made in Hindi cinema. Imran Khan has that kind of body language – it is kind of an off body language – it is not really normal. I mean, even though he is the Hindi film hero, he does not look like a Hindi film hero. I think Imran suited his character so well and that is why I roped Imran in the film.
What about Sonam Kapoor? Why did you decide she would be perfect as Simran?
Sonam was basically Manish’s suggestion – the costume designer who is also my uncle. When I met her and started narrating the script to her, I realized how much she was the character. She was just So the character. It just fell in place really, really well. She has played the character to the tee. She is just so good.
How was it to work with them?
It was great. I have never had that kind of working equation before on set. Normally they come on set like stars – they are the heroes, they are the heroines, they are the protagonists on the film. But, these guys came on the set like friends and I really mean that. I really mean it. Everybody’s saying that perhaps that’s the most clich