Mumbai, Nov 12 (IANS): Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar, who is all geared up for the release of the coming-of-age film ‘The Archies’, shared about working with the new actors in the movie, and said she kind of vicariously re-lived her debut through them.
Zoya and Reema Kagti were present at the album launch party of ‘The Archies’. The flick is directed by Zoya, and stars Agastya Nanda, Khushi Kapoor, Suhana Khan, Vedang Raina, Mihir Ahuja, Aditi Saigal and Yuvraj Menda. The screenplay is by Reema Kagti.
Zoya who has worked with the finest actors in the industry like Hrithik Roshan, Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, etc. In this movie she had kids who were facing the camera for the first time. Was that difficult or easy?
Zoya said: “Well the thing that I think was different was- the time of the preparation was expanded. So they had a bigger preparation time, rehearsed more, trained more. The second thing was they are different from those actors.”
“So, it was actually the enthusiasm and the joy. I kind of vicariously re-lived my debut through them. And I don’t think I have had as much fun and easy time that I had with them,” she shared.
After ‘Gully Boy’ you could have created any film, any actor, but you decided to open a film school, because you got these kids, and you taught them everything there is to the movies and this beautiful world. How was that?
The ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ director said: “You don’t go in for a project for an actor, you go in a project for a story. And whichever actor works for that story are the actors that you want for that project.”
“When ‘Archies’ came to me, they were 17 in the film, so they had to be teenagers, completely new, and they were the best of the lot. We auditioned people for eight months. But these seven killed it,” she said.
On the biggest challenge to adapt ‘The Archies’ to Indian audiences, Reema said: “Firstly ‘Archies’ were really not of the 60s. It started back then and it is over the ages. We chose to go back to the 60s because our brief was to kind of bring back the essence of the original ‘Archies’.”
“It’s timeless, about families, friends, and community. It’s all the things that matter. For Zoya and me, we wanted to connect back to our time in childhood, when we didn’t have the things that the kids today have. It was the time when you felt ‘less was more’. We didn’t have all this digital barrage, there was no television I think. We used to watch TV, two hrs a day or something. We wanted to go back to the time like that, and therefore the 60’s,” she shared.
If there were any disagreements of what to keep and not to keep?
Reema added: “Always. And I think that’s one of the pros of writing together. That’s why you have two heads. They should be different, and not think alike. No point working with two identical heads.”
The heartfelt coming-of-age tale set in the idyllic backdrop of the 1960s, ‘The Archies’ draws viewers into the lives of a beloved group of teenagers. The film is a collaborative effort between Netflix India, Tiger Baby, Archie Comics, and Graphic India.
Helmed by Zoya, the highly anticipated film will be released on Netflix on December 7.