Exclusive! Vikram Bhatt on his B'day plans

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Filmmaker Vikram Bhatt, who is popular for making horror films, is celebrating his 52 nd birthday today. ETimes got in touch with the renowned filmmaker on his special day where he spoke about his birthday plans. Vikram, who has made films like ‘Ghulam’, the ‘Raaz’ series, ‘Haunted 3D’, ‘1920’ and more, also revealed his most memorable birthday was not a happy one. He also spilled the beans on his next project ‘Anamika’ with Sunny Leone, his daughter Krishna Bhatt’s film and much more! Excerpts:

How do you plan to celebrate your birthday this year?

Firstly, I will be going to the doctor and nothing serious, it’s just a regular check up. Later, I shall go to my office and I will do my edit work. I will also do some pre-production work for a film that I am starting soon. That’s how I am going to spend my birthday. Nothing special but yes I hope to go out with the family for dinner.

Your most memorable childhood memory of your birthday?

My most memorable birthday sadly is the one that is not the happy one. I was 8 or 9 years old, jumping onto the garage, when my mother had specifically told me not to go there. I was getting very excited because it was my birthday. While jumping, half the skin of my heel came off. There was blood everywhere, excruciating. I was rushed to the doctor and a bandage was put. I hobbled through my birthday party but I was in pain. Strangely, that is the most memorable birthday I have because who wants to have an accident on their birthday. Other than that, there have been so many birthdays where people have made me feel special and they have gone out of their way to make me feel special. They have shown me how much they love me. For that, I feel immense gratitude.

Any birthday resolution?

Slowly, everything has gone in any case. I have been a good boy. I haven’t had alcohol for the last 22 years, haven’t smoked in the last 20 years, I don’t do drugs. I have only soup, salad and grilled stuff. So I think my birthday resolution is I am going to go for walks.

You had announced a break from direction post Hacked but the world stopped due to COVID-19. Did it help you before starting shooting for ‘Anamika’?

Yes, I had announced taking a break. But then the COVID happened and the whole world got a break with me. Now I am back feeling refreshed after a year and doing ‘Anamika’. Before this, I directed another show, we don’t have a name as yet but it is coming on MX Player very soon.

Tell us something about your show ‘Anamika’ and your experience with Sunny Leone?

‘Anamika’ is an action drama. A story of a female assassin who is being hunted by another female assassin. It is high on action and emotion. It’s that kind of a show. I hope to bring in some new kind of action into the OTT space with this show.

Working with Sunny Leone is actually working with someone who is not only a nice person and down to earth but a very sincere worker. She is perhaps the most sincere actor I have ever worked with. She has no qualms, she works very hard on her lines because she knows she doesn’t know the language. She is always on time and very professional. It is a complete pleasure working with her.

Which of your films would you say were a game-changer?

Out of all the projects I have directed so far which have been a game-changer, I would think of three projects. Firstly, when I made ‘Fareb’ which was a small film that did well and started the whole erotic thriller space. Secondly, ‘Raaz’ restarted the EDM of horror which had long been dead. And lastly, ‘Haunted 3D’ started stereoscopic 3D in the country. So I would say quite a trailblazer I am!

Any scripts you worked on during the lockdown?

I worked on a lot of scripts during the lockdown. I finished ‘The Cello’ which is my international film. I worked on some stuff for another show, I wrote ‘Anamika’. So a lot of work was done.

What do you think of your daughter’s direction? Is it like your own style or completely different?

My daughter has a style of her own. She doesn’t direct like me. I have a more technical style while she has the more upfront close personal style. I am also more of a thriller-horror guy but she is more of an emotional drama love story girl. So when you are attempting different genres, your style of shooting changes obviously. You can’t shoot a love story like a horror. So it’s the preference of the story you decide to choose.

She was supposed to direct a film with a script you had written. What’s the update on that?

Yes, there’s a film that she will be making later on in the year. It will be on a book I have written ‘Handful of Sunshine’. She wants to make that into a film. So that is happening.

What’s next apart from ‘Anamika’?

Well, on 5th February I am starting a new horror film. It’s called ‘Cold’. It will be feature Akshay Oberoi and a new girl. I have decided to make the scariest film ever.

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