We recently caught up with Umesh Shukla, director of OMG Oh My God, for a quick chat regarding his upcoming film, what it was like having Akshay Kumar as a producer, why he chose Salman Khan to narrate his promo, and of course that pesky little rumor that Shah Rukh Khan was supposed to be in the film initially. Read on for Umesh’s answers!
Tell us a little bit about your upcoming film, OMG Oh My God.
OMG Oh My God is all about a person’s belief in God… it’s all about an atheist suing God for his losses!
You’ve also written the screenplay for OMG Oh My God. How different is it adapting a play compared to writing a script from scratch?
Yes, it was challenging for me and Bhavesh Mandalia, because in a play we have to narrate our story in 8 scenes, whereas in a film we have to create 80 to 100 scenes. Theatre and film, both the mediums have their own pros and cons. We made 16 drafts before creating the final script. We have made 50 to 60% changes from the stage version, so even the audience who has seen my play can come and enjoy the film. The film script is more spicier than the play – it has more meaningful humour. For some films, the makers and critics say leave your brains at home and watch the film, you will enjoy it… I would say, OMG Oh my God is a film where there’s no need to keep your brains at home. Keep your sanity with you; even then you will enjoy the film… OMG Oh my God is not a mindless film… mind it!!!
What was it like having Akshay Kumar as a producer?
Akshay Kumar is a great producer to work with. He told me clearly to not compromise on anything. In fact, his inputs made OMG Oh My God look bigger than I expected. The Go Go Go Govinda song was Akshay’s suggestion. He convinced Sonakshi Sinha and Prabhu Deva to perform on the song. This song really added a great value to my film.
We love Go Govinda! What made you guys decide to rope in Sonakshi Sinha and Prabhu Deva for the song?
There was a situation for a song, but to rope in Sonakshi and Prabhu Deva and make a memorable song was Akshay and Ashvini’s idea… Sonakshi and Prabhu sir rehearsed for 3 days… really worked hard, and their energy made GO GO GO GOVINDA song a chartbuster!
Why did you choose Salman Khan to narrate the promo?
I wanted a voice that can set the tone of my film. OMG Oh my God is a film with a message said in a humorous way. Salman has that inherent notorious quality to narrate and thankfully he agreed to do so.
With people like Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal on sets, things are bound to get funny. Can you tell us one “OMG” incident that took place while shooting?
OMG! It’s fun working with them together… once on the set, I was choreographing the scene with my assistants. One of my assistants started mimicking Akshay Kumar, and to our surprise, Akshay came on the set and my assistant didn’t know that Akshay was standing right behind him. We kept quiet and my assistant continued mimicking; then I said, “Okay, now turn around and sit on the swing.” As he turned, he saw that Akshay was standing right behind him, and was really scared to see him. Akshay stared at him for a minute without blinking his eyes, then laughed and clapped for his performance.
Is it true that Shah Rukh Khan was supposed to do a cameo in the film? What happened there?
No, it’s not true… it was a rumour, God knows who spread it… from day one Mithunda was playing that role.
Name one actor and actress you’d love to direct, and why.
Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra. I see passion in them… they look the character they perform.
What is one lesson you’ve learned while working on this film?
Well, every experience was lesson for me. It’s a memorable film.
And finally, if you could give us only one reason to go watch OMG on September 28th, what would it be?
It’s a must watch film for mankind… it has a strong message said in a humorous tone. Hence, even my play is running in three different languages successfully.