Kunal Khemu Opens Up
Known as Soha Ali Khan's other half, but that may change if Goa Going Gone is successful
Talented yet self-effacing, Kunal Khemu has been very impressive in every movie he has been part of. While he still isn't part of the A-list, things may change if the experimental Go Goa Gone clicks at the box office. The zombie flick has generated a lot of curiosity and while it remains to be seen how masala-loving Bollywood fans accept this unusual genre, Kunal is hugely excited about it. In a candid chat with Masala!, Kunal talks about his experience of working with Saif, moving in with Soha and his relationship with Sharmila Tagore.
What made you want to do Go Goa Gone?
It started two years ago, when Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK (directors of the film) and I were trying to figure out a film we could do together after 99. We wanted to do a slapstick crime-comedy set in Goa. It was then that Raj, who was in America, called me and said 'Why don't we make a zombie film?' It took me exactly 30 seconds to get sold on that idea! Once he returned, we spent hours trying to figure out how we would make a film in a genre that has never been made in India. The challenge was to tweak it to suit the sensibilities of the Indian audiences.
What was it like working with Saif Ali Khan?
As a producer, I have to thank him for having the guts to come out and make a film like this. It was a huge risk for any production house to take. Besides that, he also decided to play an important character in the film which I think nobody but he could have done. He is a fabulous actor to work with and is very professional. Even as a person he makes you feel very comfortable and is open to improvisation.
How comfortable were you working with Saif since you are dating his sister?
I think I was more comfortable with him than any of the others were because I knew him before we started working on this film.
You said if Saif hadn't produced Go Goa Gone, you would have. What is so intriguing about it?
Yes, I would have produced it. Sometimes, you come across an idea that you believe in and want to turn it into reality. I knew it wasn't going to be a very expensive film. I would have made it on a lower budget. Now, obviously the budget has gone slightly higher since big production houses are involved. But as I said, it was an idea that DK, Raj and I loved. We wanted to be the first people to make a film like this so I was hell-bent on producing it. I didn't want to make this film from a personal or career perspective because it's not a solo hero film. It's just that I loved the concept and story.