Day 2 at India Today Conclave 2023, Mumbai – Atlee at India Today Conclave Mumbai 2023: SRK calledme to Mumbai after ‘Bigil’
Director Atlee attended Day 2 of India Today Conclave Mumbai 2023 on October 5. He spoke about the success of ‘Jawan’ and belting out of one successful film after another in the session titled ‘Mass appeal: Recipe for scripting a blockbuster’.
Director Atlee scored one of the biggest blockbusters of India with Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Jawan’. The film is now inching towards Rs 1,100 crore worldwide and is still going strong at the theatres. Basking in the success of ‘Jawan’, Atlee attended India Today Mumbai Conclave 2023 on October 5. He spoke at a session titled Mass appeal: Recipe for scripting a blockbuster.
Atlee spoke about the monumental success of ‘Jawan’, his bond with Shah Rukh Khan and Thalapathy Vijay and the secret behind his success.
ATLEE SAYS SRK CALLED HIM AFTER ‘BIGIL’
This is my 10th year in cinema as director. It’s my 18th year actually, because I assisted other filmmakers. Thanks to Priya and my family, I can sit here.
I was shooting for my 4th film ‘Bigil’ when I got a call from Mumbai to meet Shah Rukh Khan. When I met him he said, “Let’s do a film Atlee. I need an Atlee film. So what is an Atlee film, which has everything. I was very surprised to hear from a national superstar to say that my film has everything. Since then I was in love with him. Then I realised that I should give him something. He told me that since the start of my career I wanted to be an action hero. I want to do a lot of actions. But unfortunately, I am stuck in a romantic one. But, now I want to do a clear action film. That time I think he had one film with Rajkumar Hirani which is called ‘Dunki’.
I told him, “Yes sir and then we started in 2019 when he came to Chennai. We had a brief in my office. So while he was leaving I said bye sir. He was heading to IPL. He asked me to join. I said if the news or photo will be put out, so he was like, “Let the world know that we are doing a film.” So he gave me such a big responsibility, I had to give him a love letter, which was ‘Jawan’. That’s how it started. My grammar for film is hero pricing and at the end of the day you have something to take back home. Having the best voice in the film is Mr Shah Rukh Khan and having the best message, all worked.
ON MESSAGING IN HIS FILMS
I am also part of press, media. So I should make entertainment with responsibility. If it’s only entertainment, I feel that I am not doing my job. I just get the real emotions- what is going around and what we are doing as a society to counter.
I am not specifying anything but I am talking about real issues. One should know who to vote for and how to vote and read the manual. I am just describing what responsibility is.
Thalapathy Vijay really really trusted me. There were so many directors around who would say yes in an instant to SRK, but he called me. So he put a lot of trust in me.
You should know the value of your product, otherwise you will always be a loser and a failed businessman. Now, success is measured by box office numbers.
To bring back theatrical energy was my aim. It suffered after the pandemic. For Hindi cinema, it was very difficult and ‘Jawan’ cracked it and that was a success for me.
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