Interview with Harman Baweja
Harman Baweja son of Harry Baweja (director of Qayamat) is all set to make his debut on the silver screen with his super-hyped debut movie Love Story 2050. His co-star is the gorgeous Priyanka Chopra, with whom he is rumored to be romantically involved.
With less than a month to go before the release of Love Story 2050, Harman Baweja talks about his debut movie, his resemblance to superstar Hrithik Roshan, his upcoming movie with Jodha Akbar director Ashutosh Gowariker and a lot more.
Tell us about Love Story 2050.
Love Story 2050 is like the title says. It’s a love story in 2050. This was the first title we thought about, three years ago. But it was not a conventional Hindi film title like Yeh Dil Ne Kuch… It’s very abrupt. But dad felt that the entire film was spelt out in the title – it’s a love story set in the future. And that’s what it is. It’s a love story spread across two time zones. It’s a time travel film.
What’s your look in the film like?
I haven’t done anything flamboyant. Priyanka went red-haired, and that worked wonders for her character. For me, there’s nothing like that. It’s my first film so I didn’t want to experiment. I just wanted to be myself.
How tough is it shooting in front of a green screen?
It’s a killer! First of all, it’s my first film. So as a father, he should have been nice to me and helped me. Instead, he puts me in a green room and tells me to pretend that there’s a flying car there, suddenly pan left and there’s Ayesha’s car… and I’m like where is all this happening?
I was shooting a scene with Cutie, the robot. She has to say, ‘Karan (my character’s name), where are you?’ Instead, she goes, ‘Kkkkarr…’ and gets stuck. And you get really upset because that’s your best shot. But you can’t even get upset because Cutie is a robot!
So we went through all that. I’ve trained so much in my first film — you know, with green screens and robots — that it’s probably going to be easy acting with humans now!
How difficult is it to do a romantic scene with Priyanka, with your dad watching?
Very! The first two days of shooting, I went up to dad and said that if you’re going to be on the sets, I’m not going to be able to act! So he looked at me and said, ‘I’m the director of the film!’
So he sat in another room in front of the video assist, and talked to me through the mike. I didn’t want to see my father when I was shooting because that would freak me out! It’s natural; he’s my dad at the end of the day.
But by the end of the third day, you learn how to cut off.
But the cut off was not definite either. Like, I never called my father ‘sir;’ I called him ‘papa’ only. But I’d be professional on set, and he becomes a father again in the car.
Tell us about your first brush with stardom — the first time a stranger recognised you on the streets.
It hasn’t happened to me, honestly. Nobody recognises me yet. The other day I went to the chemist. I walked the streets aram se, and no one recognised me. I’m hoping that people start recognising me.
You’ve been compared to Hrithik Roshan. How do you take that?
I always say the same thing. It’s what my parents did, yaar!
But it’s a matter of time. For those who have seen my film — like Ashutosh Gowariker, Anees Bazme and Manmohan Singh — obviously see me and that’s why they’ve taken me in their films.
What the world has seen are two trailers. When you see someone for the first time, you tend to relate him to someone you know. That’s natural. So you say Shahid Kapoor is like Shah Rukh, Abhishek is like his father, Shah Rukh is like Dilip Kumar, Ajay Devgan is like Sunil Dutt…
So after you see my first and maybe second film, people will say this is Harman, and he has his own identity.
But people may compare you to Hrithik when they see you on screen for the first time.
But then, it’s unfair to me. At the end of the day, I’m a newcomer and he’s been there for eight years and has done 20 films. He has matured and improved as he’s gotten older. But this is my first film.
Like you can’t compare my dance with his. He’s got eight years of experience, so he knows how to dance for the camera. I’m still learning.
How much has your daily schedule changed?
It’s become very hectic. The only thing I want is sleep (it’s 10:30 pm at the time of the interview but the day is far from over for Harman. After the interview, he has to rush to his office to rehearse his performance for the IIFA awards until 3 am. He hasn’t had any dinner, and he has to suffice on cashew nuts for now. The next day will begin at 8:30 am with the dubbing for Love Story 2050).
But at the same time, I can’t complain. I’ve been working towards this, and now that it’s happening, I need to be happy about it. And I am.
I don’t want to do films where I play a character that’s typically me. I want roles which will give me scope to perform. I get that in Love Story. It’s followed by Victory, where I play a small-town boy from Jaisalmer, and how he becomes a big cricket star. And then his search for himself again. It’s a very complex film. It’s very commercial as well. It has cricket players like Brett Lee, Dinesh Karthik, RP Singh and Yusuf Pathan.
Anees Bazme’s It’s My Life contrasts completely with this. It’s a romantic comedy. It’s a remake of a Telugu hit, Bommarillu. The Tamil version, Santhosh Subramaniam, was also a hit. So we’re hoping we’re third time lucky now.
Then, there’s What’s Your Rashi with Ashutosh Gowariker. I cannot talk about that.