‘Pathaan’ was recently crowned as the highest-grossing Hindi film ever, having toppled ‘Baahubali: The Conclusion’ with its whopping box office score. Siddharth Anand and team ‘Pathaan’ are basking in the glory of delivering the biggest hit post the pandemic. Having achieved this feat, the director is beaming with pride. In an exclusive interaction with ETimes, Siddharth Anand talks about success, gives an update on the ‘Pathaan’ sequel, his experience of working with SRK and Salman Khan, keeping trolls at bay and much more. Excerpts:

What was your first reaction to Pathaan crossing the collections of Baahubali?

I was actually shooting for Fighter in Hyderabad and the moment it crossed the collection of ‘Baahubali’ messages poured in. It was a moment that we had been waiting for so long, the climb from 400 crores to 515 crores is steep and hard, and we were just praying the film wouldn’t slow down. So, when it actually happened, there was a sense of numbness. Just the fact that Pathaan has been loved so much, through the journey, that after receiving the ‘number 1 film’ tag, our hearts were full.

Do you feel that box office numbers add a certain pressure on sequels?
That pressure is definitely there, I call it good pressure. It also empowers you in a way that now there are people who want to see ‘your film’ more than just ‘the film’. There are certain expectations from you of quality and it is always good. I prefer the pressure of expectation rather than the other way round.

What was SRK’s reaction when you first approached him for Pathaan?
His reaction was, ‘I’ve been waiting for this kind of a film!’. And things just fell into place, it just felt like the universe was conspiring in our favour to let us make this film. The casting, timing, everything just fell into place.

Do you feel box office numbers are enough to shut out detractors, trolls and boycott calls?
It is not shutting them down, but it is definitely giving hope in the right direction. One just needs to put their head down and work towards a good film and the results will follow, everything else is just noise.

How was the mood on set when SRK and Salman came together, what was the mood like on the sets?

They just had so much love for each other, there was just so much positivity, they wanted to give each other space rather than hog a scene or a sequence. They were selfless and that just shows onscreen.

Is Pathaan 2 happening?

We are just so immersed in the euphoria of Pathaan that there is nothing else happening right now. It is still doing so well, by God’s grace, so the journey of the sequel, whenever it does, we will make a big announcement about it.

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