He’s one of the most evolved directors I’ve worked with. My primary reason for doing Jodhaa Akbar was that I wanted to work with him.
Your personal inputs to the role of Akbar?
I wanted Akbar to be my interpretation within the realm of the screenplay. I didn’t want to imitate or mimic what I might have seen.
Any difficulties you faced while shooting?
Hmm. There weren’t any particular difficulties that demarcated this one as more difficult than the other films I have done.
Is Akbar a complex character?
Very much so. In fact, that is what intrigued me and propelled me towards him.
Does a costume drama limit you?
On the contrary, it adds to the character. Costumes, jewellery...anything that makes the character more convincing is welcome.
Your first reaction to playing the role...
I did not look at Akbar from a historical viewpoint. I’m a believer in films and films are meant to entertain. I reacted purely to the drama and the emotions of the story. It could’ve been anyone’s story.
Have you succeeded in doing that?
You’ll find out once the audience sees it.
Does it hold promise, will it become a classic like Mughal-e-Azam?
We can only work within the boundaries, make sure it’s good, honest work. The rest is a consequence of that. It could become a classic, it could win the Oscars—you never know.
What is your take on the music?
When it’s A.R. Rahman, you don’t need to say much. It’s fantastic, magical, ethereal.
Your chemistry with Ash in Dhoom 2 has raised expectations....
We were coming from Dhoom and immediately got into Jodhaa Akbar—it was something we found very comfortable to do.