Parmeet Sethi turns Director with Badmaash Company

Parmeet Sethi turns Director with Badmaash Company

By Lipika Varma


parmeet sethiIn a brief chit – chat with actor turned director Parmeet Sethi speaks his heart to Lipika Varma.

What is Badmaash Company all about?

This story is about four friends. I have always been reading about different scams. Telgi scam, bank scam. The society around you dictates you at times. I was influenced by these scams that I would read and always wondered how they got away with it. It’s nothing real on reel. This is a fictional story which I finished writing in six days.

How was Badmaash Company conceptualized?

Actually I was writing another script for Aditya Chopra it was an adventurous love story but then it was put in the back burner. Aditya chopra told me to write another script and actually in six days flat I finished the script. When I gave him a bound script he was also surprised. We hadn’t met for a long time after Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. Now I had stopped acting. I didn’t want to act on TV anymore. I had told all my producers and directors. I didn’t know what to do.?

On the experience of being a director on a film sets when compared to being an actor?

For me it felt like I had come home. I had found my true calling. I was completely satisfied everyday that I went home. Of course there are problems, it’s raining or things are not finishing on time but when I went home and looked at myself in the mirror I used to feel I have done some very good work. It was very satisfying. I never enjoyed acting. This was my true calling.

How did you go about the casting? Everybody is finding the pairing of all four actors extremely fresh and interesting.

Shahid Kapoor was always on mind mind.  Adi suggested I take Anushka since she was just one film old. The rest of the cast actually were initiated by Adi and I liked them so they were on board. I had Chang in my mind when I wrote his role. I had liked him when I watched him hosting shows.

You first started acting with YRF and now your first directorial venture is with YRF too. What do you feel about it?

I had to fight for my first acting stint. I remember I had to actually fight for my role for DDLJ with Adi as he had signed someone else for that and I convinced him that I were a better candidate and he cast me for that role. Even when I wrote this script and approached Adi he was like ok come and see me. He thought I would give him a one liner but then he saw this bound script. After that there was no call from him. One Sunday I was planning to take a walk with Archana  and Adi called me. I was surprised. He told me he loved the script I was shocked. I was in a daze and the world stopped moving. I handed over the phone to Archana. She spoke to him and then said “Parmeet he wants to talk to you at least talk to him. I couldn’t believe that here I was getting the biggest break of my life. Ever since then Archana has become my bouncing board. I first make her read the scripts.

One moment you will cherish the most in this film.

I don’t know if it’s something I should tell you guys but I will tell you anyways. When, I was doing my last shot of the film where the film ends with the big crane shot. We were shooting in Bangkok and when I left for the shoot and I was in the car. I was planning the whole thing. And I started crying. I got so emotional about the fact that I was taking the last shot of the film. It was a long drive of 2.5 hours and for about 2 hours tears just kept rolling down and I was lucky that nobody was with me in the car and I didn’t have to get embarrassed. I didn’t know why I was crying. I think the tears rolled down as I was putting an end to my first film – my dream of so many years. It was too overwhelming and emotional and I think it is my finest shot in the film actually it is the best shot in the film. This is something I will never forget and shall always cherish.

When did you realize that you have to turn to director?

I always felt that this is something I could do.  I started production with Archana a talk show Archana Talkies Ka Stand Up comedy.  But we didn’t have a script ready. Archana was in tears as we had to shoot the next day. We had already invested so much in it and our writer did not turn up.  I went to my study at 11.30 and started writing and at 1.00 I was out with a script. I asked her to read.  She kept on laughing as she read it and said that it was wonderful.  We called our director Fahad Samar and when she narrated the script to him he started laughing. We didn’t tell him who the writer was but when he came to know the next day he was amazed. I wrote a few stand up scripts. Saamne Wali Khidki  and Asmaan Se Tapka.  At the same time I used to edit the serials to get a  know how.  I had dabbled in almost all departments and learnt the art of film making.  I was 40 years and had almost fulfilled my duties as a husband and father and decided it’s time to take up direction.

Are you stressed now?

No, I am not taking any kind of pressure. I know I have made a good film and am confident.

How do you de stress?

I take my children for a walk or spend time with them. I take my elder son who is 14 for his football game and the younger one for Art class he is 11.

Has life with Archana changed now?

We have now become soul mates. We understand each other well and have no expectations. We are at peace with each other. We are best of friends and we have focused on our marriage.  Usually I give up when we fight. I am scared of her as she is the boss in the house. I am basically very absent minded and that is why I have to lie to her at times but she comes to know I am lying. So she scolds me.  She has stood by me through thick and thin.  When I did not make it as a hero she supported me and took care of me. She brought happiness in my life.  I was very upset and used to scream at every small thing but she stood up for it.  I took up television because I realized I had to take up the responsibilities’ of my house. Even now she stood by me when I said I want to turn a director. She has always been there for me.

Do you cook?

Yes I do.  I can make dal chawal and Rajma or Aloo Gobi.  My wife and children are vegetarians so I  make vegetarian food for them. I like non veg so I make chicken for myself at times.

–Lipika Varma

By Lipika Varma on 4 May, 2010
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