Kabir Sadanand on his upcoming comedy drama Fugly with a bunch of newcomers
Kabir Sadanand is a Delhiite to the core and his latest film Fugly is giving him ample opportunity to show off his Delhi side. “Delhi is not just where my film is set, it is a character in the film. From the day we began shooting, I have turned Delhiite with a vengeance! I am otherwise quite soft-spoken and articulate. But on the sets I was all raw humour and crudeness personified. I wanted my actors to get into the Fugly mood and I guess it worked. My actress Kiara Advani is a propah South Mumbai girl, but if you watch her in the film she comes across as a pucca Delhi girl,” laughs the actor-writer-filmmaker.
Kabir’s Fugly is up for release on June 13 and is produced by Grazing Goat Pictures, an Akshay Kumar and Ashvini Yardi company. Starring Jimmy Shergill, Mohit Marwah, boxer Vijender Singh, Arfi Lamba, Kiara Advani and Anshuman Jha in lead roles, the film is being pitched as a comedy drama with a social message. It tells the story of an oddball gang of friends who face an ugly turn in life, thanks to a run-in with the law and how they wriggle out of the situation. If that reminds you of last year’s Fukrey, banish the thought, says the filmmaker. “I am not even reacting to that. It’s just as someone would want to speak of Rang De Basanti and Dil Chahta Hai and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara in the same breath. Fukrey was fantasy meets reality. Fugly has a far bigger issue driving it.”
Other than Jimmy Shergill, who plays a rogue cop in the film, Fugly has a young cast. “It was deliberate,” says Kabir. “The script demanded newcomers, as I wanted to bring out the point that young people have very strong values. Whether it was in the Nirbhaya case or the Jessica Lal one, they took centre stage. My characters face a daunting task in the film and had there been established actors, the audience could speculate that they will eventually win. Now, it is open,” he explains.
The director says the story by Rahul Handa came as a 180-page script, from which he picked two pages to make. “It was about a bunch of boys who bust an in-house party. They were supposed to be affluent guys. We changed all that. We got in a female character, made them not so affluent, and brought in a bigger cause. Now it’s about making a positive change,” he adds.
Asked if he’d ever return to acting, Kabir agrees that he is an unsatisfied actor. “I started getting non-challenging roles. I enjoyed my job but one morning I woke up feeling I didn’t want to go to work and that was the end of that road. I can single out my role in Good Boy Bad Boy by Ashwini Chaudhary as my best. If he ever writes something for me, I would definitely take it on,” he laughs, revealing that besides Ashwini (who says he has something for Kabir) two other interesting roles have also come his way.
As a director, Kabir says he likes to apply actor psychology. “Every actor needs to get comfortable initially. I believe that an actor’s ego needs beefing up. You need to babysit them and they will definitely give you their best performance!”