Because of Priyanka Chopra, Kangana first rejected Madhur Bhandarkar’s fashion movie, then Manavi

Dipesh Pandey, J.N. “A lot of people in the industry were angry with me for being on the fashion industry screen, but I don’t mind. Fashion film director Madhur Bhandarkar says, “Making films with social concerns has always been important to me.” He is sharing his experience of making this hit film.

I often visited fashion shows and ramp walks. There I felt that people should show the fashion show, the world behind it, the girls who come here, the show of clothes and the truth. Then I researched the fashion world, including models, ramp choreographers, fashion designers and people familiar with this world. It took seven to eight months to script the film. Producer Ronnie Screwvala was ready to make the product immediately after hearing the story. I also joined the film as a producer.

I was the most fit actress for the roles of Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut, Meghna Mathur and Sonali Gujral after the script was ready. I approached Priyanka, she found the script good and she said yes. Then I approached Kangana. She also liked the script, but Kangana was a bit confused that this whole film is Priyanka Chopra’s film Priyanka. I explained to him that the film is not one, but all its characters are strong. I assured them that they would focus on the strength of the character rather than the length of the character. Then Kangana also got approval. Most of my films are feminist, so the big heroes don’t agree to act fast in my films. I directed this film with Arbaaz Khan, Arjan Bajwa and Sameer Soni.

Six months before the shooting started, we started preparations for the film with Priyanka and Kangana. We had several fashion shows with us. Priyanka and Kangana were both former models, so it was easy for them to know about this character and play properly on screen. Some things in this film are inspired by real life and some things are fictional. I often use words like Jalwa and JDU in conversation. I often told Salim Merchant, the composer of this film, that I sang a little water. One day he explained to me the concept of singing, fashion is water. Then we wrote the song completely by telling the lyricist Sandeep Nath. The song is still played at fashion shows.

Most of the film was shot in parts of Mumbai and Chandigarh. All the fashion show sets shown in the film were made at Mehboob Studios and Filmistan. There is always laughter on the sets of my films. On set me, Priyanka and Kangana, we all had tiffin open and we ate together. I made changes to the set in many scenes of the film. The film sees Meghna (Priyanka) an innocent girl from Chandigarh, a model, a supermodel, in different stages after her bad times and feelings of truth. In these five looks she wore about 140 dresses.

In one scene of the film, Kangana has a breakdown in her wardrobe. We shot this scene in Mehboob Studios with a three camera setup. Kangana bravely completed the scene in just one take. Everyone around the ramp at the time was making noise at their performance. Some Paris fashion shows are also featured in the film’s climax. We ordered some of her shots from the Paris fashion show and the rest of the shots were arranged in the studio.

The film also has cameos of many people including Karan Johar, Ranveer Shourie, Konkona Sen Sharma and Manish Malhotra. Initially I had no plans for a cameo. Everyone including Priyanka said during the shooting that you should also have a band in one scene. Then I also did a cameo in a party scene in which people make fun of me that the sweetest bhandat will not leave the fashion industry anymore. Stylist Rita Dhodi researched for more than two months and created her own costume. Cinematographer Mahesh Limas and I decided to give the final look together. Some people are annoyed by the reality of the fashion industry on screen, but creative satisfaction is important to me.

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