EXCLUSIVE! Raj Mehta: Nepotism debate makes me angry
Mumbai (Maharashtra): Raj Mehta has entertained everyone with his comedic genius, ‘Good Newwz’ which marked his debut as a director in Bollywood. He is now coming up with his second film, Jugjugg Jeeyo and the trailer itself has been creating a severe buzz on the internet. Raj Mehta sat down with City First to talk about his upcoming film, the nepotism debate and more.
He revealed that as his film is on the cusp of release, the box office is making him nervous. “I have the trust that we have put in a lot of time to make a good film and with a lot of hard work too. I have confidence in my work but nervousness before the release is inevitable. I am just glad that Karan Johar, my producer, towards whom I have the biggest responsibility, loved the movie. Overall, box office numbers do matter, but I would appreciate compliments more,” he said.
He added, “Directing Kiara and Varun was easygoing as we are friends because I have worked with them previously. But I had to be a little careful with my words with Neetu Ma’am and Anil Sir as they are veterans.”
On whether he and Karan faced creative differences, Raj said, “When he likes a script, he suggests some ideas that he thinks could make the story better. One even listens to him because of his wide experience and no one understands the family space better than him. But once a script is locked, he does not interfere at all. He has the least interference and the maximum support so I am glad I got to two films with Dharma. He is a dream producer for anyone.”
Commenting on Dharma Productions’ tag as the flagbearer of nepotism, the filmmaker stated, “I have never felt any blow of nepotism and I am the living example of that. I have been associated with Dharma since I assisted Shashank Khaitan in Humpty Sharma. So, because of my years of experience with them, the debate around nepotism makes me a little angry. I have seen first-hand that there is no such thing. I, an outsider, cannot think of working with any other production.”
He added, “I felt bad because, at the end of the day, Karan is human and so much negativity does affect him. But he kept himself busy with work to deal with it.”
Raj further shared his journey as an outsider. He revealed, “When I came here from Delhi, I barely knew two-three people. But I made contacts because of my passion for filmmaking. Of course, fate, timing and a lot of other things mattered as well.”
Raj further expressed his desire to make an action-comedy in the future. “Comedy is something natural to me. I cannot run away from it. But in that template, if a good action film comes out, that would be great.”
He added, “Currently, I am making what comes from within. But at some point, I would like to deliberately try a different genre.”