Doing three films with Akshay sir is a huge achievement: Prernaa Arora – In two years, Prernaa Arora has managed to produce four films. Come 2019 and there are a few ready to release in quick succession as well. Here, the producer discusses the importance of success and failure and explains how she embraces both. Over to her…
AKSHAY SIR HAS BEEN LIKE A MENTOR
Prernaa has already delivered three films with Akshay Kumar (Rustom, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, and Pad Man) and all of them have brought in over Rs 300 crore cumulatively at the box office. “That is something we are proud of. Akshay sir has been like a mentor and we trust him implicitly. His choices speak volumes of the kind of cinema he believes in and I also want to deliver good content to the audience. Getting to do three films with Akshay sir in such a short span is an achievement.”
We had heard from a birdie that she is producing a few more movies with the Khiladi. She confirms the news, “Yes, I’ll be doing my next set of films with Akshay sir. Working with him is a blessing and I will continue making as many movies with him as I can.” We probe her if they would be social dramas as well and she tells us, “We at KriArj respect Akshay sir so much that we don’t question him on any of his choices. So whichever genre he decides, we will follow.”
NEVER EXPECTED BIG NUMBERS FROM PARI
Her latest release Pari has received a thumbs up from the critics. However, talk about its numbers and the producer says, “We never expected Pari to bring us huge numbers. We knew that we were catering to a niche audience. When you call something a horror movie, you have already lost the family audience. But it’s a brave film and I’m happy everyone has acknowledged our effort.”
ANUSHKA IS FANTASTIC
Pari was her first association with Anushka Sharma and Clean Slate Films. Prernaa is all praise for the actress. She exclaims, “It needs a lot of courage for a big star like Anushka to come and try out something like this. She never really cared about not looking good on screen. She was so focused and because of all these reasons, Pari will remain one of my most special films.”
Ask her if they are in discussions about another collaboration and Prernaa replies, “Yes, we are definitely working together on many more films. I am starting my next with Clean Slate soon and together, we will make an official announcement. The best thing is that our wavelengths match. Anushka and Karnesh (Sharma) wanted to make Pari just the way I had thought of. They are extremely polite and nice people.”
I VALUE RELATIONSHIPS
If you take a look at the films Prernaa has produced, you notice that she has repeated a lot of filmmakers and actors in her projects. “I value relationships more than anything else,” she responds. “I know the nature of the business is somewhat harsh, but I’m someone who would stand by the relationships that I have made. For example, Akshay sir and KriArj will collaborate on two more movies now. We don’t question him because we have that understanding. We know if Akshay sir is coming to us with a film, it will be a fabulous script. We have reached that level of understanding with Anushka, too.
I had always wanted to work with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and now, after Fanne Khan, we have locked her for two other projects which we will announce soon. Shahid’s next with us, post Batti Gul Meter Chalu, also begins this year. It has to be a collaborative process and most actors know that, although some completely fail to understand it. Eventually, it boils down to how you are to people and how they are to you. They are big stars because they are kind and caring towards their producers and everyone else. Maybe, this is why they have even maintained their position for the longest time.” But she also believes in partnerships with several filmmakers, she admits. “Shree Narayan Singh and I are like one family.”
SRK IS A PERFECT ROLE MODEL
Apart from the ones she’s working with, we ask Prernaa to pick another actor she wants to team up with and pat comes the response, “It has to be Shah Rukh Khan,” she smiles continuing, “I’ve always been a huge admirer of his work. I met him recently and was charmed by the way he communicates. It was a fan-girl moment for me. I could barely speak but he made me feel so comfortable. He is a wonderful person who respects your views. He is such an intelligent man and a perfect role model. Given a chance, I’d love to do a film with him someday.”
PEOPLE SHOULD UNDERSTAND THEIR MARKET VALUE
A lot of producers have debated that the cost of production increases enormously when a male actor charges an exorbitant fee. In an interview, Sonam Kapoor had stated that actors should charge according to their solo opening figures. Prernaa echoes that sentiment. “When you are budgeting a film, you think about the remuneration of an actor first because at times, someone quotes a really huge price and quite often, producers have to give in to their demands. But everyone should have a clear understanding of their market value. You can’t charge a certain sum if your films aren’t able to bring in those numbers at the box office. You cannot be selfish, you should take care of the producer too.”
GEN-Y IS VERY SORTED
She also adds, “The younger generation is extremely sorted and they are so particular about their viability that they understand for a film to do well, it needs to be made on a certain budget. They have a positive attitude towards everything and an amazing clarity on the math of the business.” Among the Gen-Y actors, she is keen to work with Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh.
KEDARNATH IS A WORK IN PROGRESS
Ask her about the whole Kedarnath episode and Prernaa refuses to divulge too many details. She says, “Yes, there’s work in progress. We’re working out things. Right now, I don’t want to say anything further.”
I KNOW HOW TO HANDLE FAILURE
Till now, all her films have managed to become successful or break even at the box office. But, how will she handle things if a movie doesn’t work well? Prernaa answers, “These are two sides to a coin. I am happy that my films are successful. Tomorrow, if my movie doesn’t work, I am well prepared for it. But thank God, I haven’t yet faced a situation like that. If you love success, you should know how to embrace failure too,” she signs off.