Arbaaz Khan, who started as one of the assistant directors of Mahesh Bhatt, turned director with Dabangg 2 after acting in many films. Today, Arbaaz is balancing his acting and directorial commitments. He will soon be seen in Tanaav, which is the remake of the Israeli TV show, Fauda, and take the director’s chair for Patna Shukla. Tanaav will premiere on SonyLIV on November 11. In an exclusive interaction with The Free Press Journal, Arbaaz talks about working with director Sudhir Mishra and Sachin Krishn for Fauda, lessons he learnt while working with Mahesh Bhatt, upcoming projects, and more. Excerpts:
Tell us about Tanaav, what can viewers expect?
I am very excited to be a part of this wonderful series, which is an adaptation of the popular Israeli show, Fauda. It’s sort of an inspiration for all of us. Director Sudhir Mishra and writer Sachin Krishn have added our Hindustani kind of drama which Indians can relate to. The characters and moments enhance the story, making it more intriguing. It has been well shot. I play one of the interesting characters. I feel lucky to get such different characters to play.
As a director, what were your takeaways after working with Sudhir Mishra?
To an extent, working with Sudhir sir was great fun. His interpretation is unique and interesting. There is a certain newness and a sort of rawness and naturalness. It can be loud or exaggerated or unnatural at times, but it has to be effective. His (Sudhir’s) way of working is making raw and relatable cinema. When he narrates the scene, you clearly understand with his expression being the right method of canning a particular scene. I feel comfortable following his instructions. He keeps you in an area where he doesn’t complicate anything but instead simplifies it.
Sudhir sir understands technical aspects and how to enhance the scene visually well. Also, he is aware of how to extract the best from his actors, so he has a great mix of everything. He has a great sense of storytelling and chooses different alluring subjects that are not the beaten-track kind.
You have also worked with Mahesh Bhatt. Has his way of filmmaking influenced your directorial style?
My initial training was with Mahesh Bhatt saab. Before starting my acting career, I assisted him as the fourth-fifth assistant in three films - Kabza, Jurm, and Awaargi. I observed his style of working, particularly with actors. We always give importance to the technical expertise of any director. We learn the uses of lenses and how they capture moments. A real director is a person who understands the story and performances, and gets the best out of others. It’s not important what angles and other technicalities you may use. We have an editor to cut a scene and writers who know where to start and stop the scenes. You have to get the best from every professional that you get on board to be known as the best director. This I learnt from Bhatt saab, he concentrates particularly on actors.
Tell us about your directorial venture Patna Shukla and what more are you working on?
We started the production on Patna Shukla on November 8. I am in a small transition phase - from acting to production, direction and hosting a talk show. I am working on different things and I am enjoying all of them. I have opened all the doors and whatever door opens for me at that time, I will grab it.
Will 'Patna Shukla' be a multi-lingual film?
Right now, I am making it in Hindi. After finishing the Hindi version we will decide which languages to dub in.