The Khoobsurat fever has hit the big screens around the globe. The Fawad Khan and Sonam Kapoor starrer is being well received by audiences.the film which introduces Pakistani actor Fawad Khan into Bollywood can also be credited with the introduction of yet another Bollywood first-timer. Fuze sat down with Steven Roy Thomas, an Assistant Director on Disney’s Khoobsurat on his experience of working on a Hindi film set for the first time and how he plans to move forward with his career in the Indian Film Industry.
Khoobsurat is now officially your first film credit in Bollywood. How was the experience?
I’m fortunate to be working with Anil Kapoor Film Company because the team is so young and that makes for a much better work flow in my opinion. I’ll never forget my days on Khoobsurat set because it was a series of a lot of ‘firsts’ for me.
What’s been challenging for you so far being an Assistant Director in India?
There are times where I get really home sick and miss my family and friends but I have come to terms that it’s time to grow up and make some sacrifices now for the bigger picture. Once you accept that, the challenge is manageable.
Was not knowing Hindi ever a problem on set?
Not really. Almost everyone speaks English behind camera but there are a few times where of course Hindi will be spoken. The only real problem I’ve encountered was once I was giving the slate to camera before a shot, and the cinematographer was telling me in Hindi to raise the slate higher in frame. I had no idea what he was saying and didn’t do what he was asking. He kept repeating to me in Hindi and I wasn’t getting it. Thankfully in that awkward moment of tension, Sonam announced to everyone on set that I didn’t speak Hindi and then raised the slate for me. She brought humor to the situation and will always tease me for it.
Has your Hindi improved after being in India this long?
I am able to pick up the language when it’s being spoken now in bits and pieces. The thing is, I’m still very much communicating in English to people I encounter in Bombay so I’m not able to really practice by experience as much as I should. I can understand and initiate basic conversations in Hindi but can’t gossip and go on in tangents in Hindi that’s for sure.
How was it working with Sonam and Fawad?
They are both really down to earth and I enjoyed being on my first Indian film set with them. Sonam makes me feel like family and her warmth brought me comfort. The first time I met Fawad was at Sonam’s house before filming and we had a blast. I had no idea who he was or how big of a deal he was back in Pakistan. What I love about Fawad is that he is so timid when it comes to accepting his status with his huge female fan base.
Now that Khoobsurat is completed, what is your next venture with Anil Kapoor Film Company?
Next we are making a film called Saat Hindustani. It is being directed by Karan Boolani and produced by Rhea Kapoor. I’m really excited about this because we are attempting to do something very different in Hindi cinema and it’s something that is targeted for the youth and I can proudly show something like this to my friends back home who don’t even usually watch Hindi films.
Khoobsurat is now playing in theaters world-wide! It stars Sonam Kapoor, Fawad Khan, Ratna Pathak and Kirron Kher. It is directed by Shashanka Ghosh and produced by Anil Kapoor and Siddharth Roy Kapoor.