Nayandeep Rakshit (DNA; August 10, 2017)

Last year, Prernaa Arora’s KriArj Entertainment made its foray in filmmaking. The production house has grown enormously in just one year and they have announced films with major stars from Akshay Kumar to Anil Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to Deepika Padukone. They began with Akshay’s Rustom and this Friday, her second film with him — Toilet - Ek Prem Katha hits the screens. Ahead of the release, Prernaa talks to us at length about the film and reuniting with the Khiladi.

As a producer, you are taking risks...Toilet is an unconventional film.
Any business you start is risky and there’s nothing that will guarantee you 100 per cent protection. Career choices are always risky till you succeed. Our conscious moves began with Akshay sir. I learnt a lot from him while working on Rustom. He’s extremely conscious about what he’s trying to do. Akshay sir is also co-producing our film. So, all my knowledge about films has come only from him. He’s now only making films that are high on content, relevant and those which can contribute to the society to move people in whichever way. It’s not about doing only social films, it’s entertaining, but different films.

Do you think the audience is accepting of such films now?
We have collaborated at the right time because the audience’s mindset has changed now. They want more films like this. It’s about being there at the right time. So many films are not working today, so as a producer, we have to make sure our content is right.

The promos of TEPK gives out the vibe of an entertainer. Was that a conscious move?
Not just as a producer but you have to look at films as an audience too. You cannot make films just for the sake of making them. If you feel you are making a film which you will like as an audience, then you should go ahead with it. That’s what we do with all our films.

How did this film come to you?
While we were shooting Rustom, Akshay sir had already decided that he will do this film. He just gave us a one-line brief, and said that the film is about the importance of sanitation taking a leaf out of our Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat campaign. He was already on board as a producer and this film is very close to his heart. He told us what the film was about and we jumped to it. Later, I found out, they had gone to several actors who turned the film down. Akshay sir took the bold step to say yes to the film.

How has it been working with Akshay?
For us, our belief in him is more than enough. We don’t need anything; for us, it’s only Akshay Kumar. Period. We trust this man too too much as a producer. He is extremely disciplined and takes very good care of the whole team and his producers. He is a delight on set. People say they are director’s actors. I think Akshay Kumar is a producer’s actor too. There are very few people like him and we are happy we are collaborating on three projects together (Rustom, TEPK and Padman). Hopefully more.