PRERNA ARORA is on a roll. And how! This immensely talented diva has bagged her first National Award for her debut film Rustom and has also secured her position in the 100 crore film club. Her kitty of films including Toilet: Ek Prem Katha to Pariare fasc
Most people tend to be inclined towards acting or direction. What made you take up production as a career? I understand a lot of people are inclined towards acting but I think producing a film is a very different ball game altogether. Everybody has different talents and skills, it’s about recognising your own talents. You can be talented as a chef or a designer. You discover yourself not in the initial stage or when you are growing up, but when you are a little more sensible and mature. So, for me production is definitely something I really wanted to get into 100 per cent. I was always fascinated with the world that filmmakers and producers create like Rakesh Roshan’s film or Shakti Samanta Films or Hrishikesh Mukherjee Films. So I wanted to devote my life to the business of filmmaking and it is something I truly believe in.
This is supposedly a male dominated space. How do you prepare yourself to cope with all the challenges? Well, luckily I have never faced this kind of challenge here. I have been very warmly and cordially welcomed. Now we know this is the time of revolution, where everything is all about equality. It’s a phase where people are accepting talent. People realise the value you bring on the table irrespective of the gender you are. So, I don’t think I really have any issues, rather I think people are more encouraging. I have not got any kind of disrespect from anybody. When you are starting out in your career - be it anybody - newcomers ko always dikkat hoti hai. There are always challenges for new comers. You have to eventually prove yourself. It’s a test of time. One should always work so hard that people associate with you, understand what you are doing, how you are working, slowly, steadily, and there is a faith which builds up. A producer has a lot of responsibilities, so you cannot afford to make any mistakes.
How is your production house KriArj different from other production houses? What are the unique things you look for before selecting any film? So we have been very fortunate as a new company to work with Akshay sir. I learnt a lot about the industry in this process. We are really careful with our subjects. We are investing emotionally on the filmmakers. So basically, we are investing on the product. When I say this, I am not only saying about the content but also the makers. So as KriArj, we are very clear with the people we want to work with. For example, we want to work with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Vishal Bhardwaj and Abhishek Kapoor. KriArj is a compnay which wants to invest on these filmmakers, directors and business partners.
How did you get your first break? It’s all about determination. Opportunities come your way at the right time and when you want something from your heart, it really happens, miracles do happen. So of course! you cannot control everything, the universe controls you. Swami Vivekananda has always said, and my mom has always taught me to live with one idea in life. You have to make it happen anyhow, there is no stopping. So then when you are determined, your career starts building up for you. You need to be talented but lucky as well. So, of course, we got our first break with Rustom and the rest is history!.
If ever given opportunity would you try your hands in acting as well? No.
I want to do 100 films with Akshay Kumar because he is the best.”
You have produced three movies up till now, all with Akshay Kumar. Any specific reason behind it? I want to do 100 films with Akshay Kumar because he is the best. He is supremly talented and that is what made me want to work with him. I want to keep on working with him.
How is your equation with Akshay Kumar? It’s a great collaboration as a team. He is a perfectionist, nothing is mediocre with him. He demands discipline, perfection at work, and as a producer, we have a huge responsibility. He is so particular about everything. The equation is about making sure that everything falls correctly and there should be no error.
Can you tell us about your upcoming projects? We are shooting for Parmanu with John Abraham, Pari with Anushka Sharma, we have collaborated with Anushka Shrama and her company Clean Slate Pictures. So there is Toilet : Ek Prem Katha, and then we will start shooting for Fanney Khan with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. And then Kedarnath with Abhishek Kapoor, starring Sushant and Sarah, and then we will move on to produce Three Sons with Vishal Bharadwaj, Deepika Padukone and Irrfan Khan.
How does it feel to bag the National Award for your first film Rustom? It’s nostalgic, it did not come unexpectedly to me, I don’t know how anybody else felt about it but when I heard the subject and when I saw Akshay sir on the sets my heart knew that this will get Akshay sir his National Award for sure. I am very certain about his other films also. He is unstoppable.
Can you name some directors and actors you want to work with in the future? Shah Rukh Khan, it’s my dream to work with him. Also, Priyanka Chopra as she is extremely talented and confident. She is somebody I really want to work with but there is no opportunity as of now. Also, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Raju Hirani, Imtiaz Ali, Anand Rai.
If not a producer then what would Prena Arora have been? Nothing (Laughs), I would have disappeared into the woods. Just kidding! I wouldn’t do that because I would have definitely made this happen I was very clear. There is nothing like ‘no’ in life. It is always about making the impossible, possible.
When I saw Akshay sir on the sets of Rustom my heart knew that this will bear Akshay Sir his National Award for sure.”
Toilet ek prem katha
Still from Pari