There is something instantly appealing about Vivaan Shah. Son of formidable talents Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak, he is making his own moves, finding his groove and staying engaged. He is now focussing his energies on an experimental film, tilted ‘Coat’. This film, for him, is a reminder of his father’s film, Paar, which was also set in rustic Bihar and had won a slew of awards. Maybe something similar lies ahead for young Vivaan…
‘Coat’ is a small budget film and it’s going to be a festival movie. It is very high on content. The art cinema and commercial cinema categorisation is in a way overlapping. Five years ago, it was not like that. Now the boundaries have blurred. If the film is high on content and hopefully draws major audiences towards it then hopefully that film gets a theatrical release. On the distribution front, it opens wide vistas for a film. We are hoping to get a wider audience for our film, Coat.
I am playing a shepherd in the film. It is a challenging role. I not only grew my hair like a villager, I had to completely transform into a majdoor (labourer). It was tough for me to be able to transform and acquire a thin body. We were to begin the shoot last year and I was all ready for it but it got postponed and we will be going ahead to Bihar now to shoot it. The film is set in Bihar and the government is encouraging filmmakers to explore the locations here at subsidised rates.
Coat depicts a father-son relationship. Dad and I are very good friends. In fact, we are very close also, like best friends. We have shared a great relationship right from the beginning of my life. Over the years we have developed closeness and share a great rapport as well. There are no formalities with him at all. We can discuss everything under the sun.
Do I discuss my girlfriends with my parents? No, I keep that to myself! I do not like to give them any stress about my girlfriends. Only if I am too depressed or have had a terrible heartbreak would I probably go and discuss it with them All of us go through a few heartbreaks in life. Slowly we lose count of them… However, I am single now. No more heartache now!
In a way, both my parents are strict but I am lucky they are very understanding parents as well. We share an amicable relationship and you know how it happens, sometimes kids have to deal with some love-hate situations too. It happens with me as well when I feel they should agree with my point of view. Rarely, it happens that we disagree. Most of the times we agree to disagree finally!
Dad was very happy when I signed this film and told me to work hard. He told me not to leave any stone unturned while transforming my physical self but also to get the Bihari dialect to the tee. Belonging to an urban place like Mumbai, I needed to work hard on my dialect so that it does not look fake. I am happy director-writer Akshay Singh is teaching it to me. He is well versed in the language.
I am very happy that I got to work in Happy New Year. It was my third film; my first was director Vishal Bhardwaj’s Saat Khoon Maaf followed by Bombay Velvet. I owe my wide recognition amongst the audiences to Happy New Year, which was marketed very well, and to Shah Rukh sir. When you work with your co-actors you meet them on a daily basis until the shoot is over. Then everyone gets busy, but I do wish all of them and Shah Rukh sir on festivals.