He has made Stars such as Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif, Shahid Kapoor dance according to his will and revived the dance genre of film. From being a choreographer to a director and the judge of the leading dance reality competition, Remo D’souza is a roaring multitasker and a maestro of Bollywood dance. In a chat with Maitri Panchal, he talks about his relationship with tech, Films and much more.
Exhibit: Starting your Bollywood journey in 1995 to your latest release Race 3 this year, you have always been a multitasker who has aced in all. How do you feel now when you look back?
Remo: It looks like a dream! It feels like the biggest roller coaster ride I have had in my life and it’s still not over. When I look back, I can say it’s been a long but amazing journey.
Exhibit: From being a director to being a choreographer how was the transition and what the perks of taking up either of the roles?
Remo: It was smooth, didn’t feel like a big jerk because when I was solely in choreography, I was indirectly directing. We, in Bollywood, don’t choreograph, we direct. I started directing a 3-minuter, 5 – minuter and gradually I went on to the heavier arena. The transition happened very smoothly but the thing is that directing a 3-minuter and a two-hour film is very different and very tough.
Exhibit: If you had to choose one of the two….
Remo: I would straightaway choose direction because I also get to choreograph.
Exhibit: The new Indian movie scene is on a roll with new movies exploring untouched ideas coming out, which is one genre which you want to explore?
Remo: I already did and I’m glad that genre has made a comeback – dance. But it probably won’t stop there, I will probably be exploring me more genres soon, let’s see!
Exhibit: Your ABCD franchise was shot in 3D, how do you think technology has changed filmmaking?
Remo: Both my films are shot in 3D so was Race. The race has been 3D but it’s not shot in 3D. Technology-wise, we are improving with every passing second. As a filmmaker, I come across new things every single day. Earlier when I started ABCD 1, we used a huge camera for 3D which literally required 4 people for it to be carried. That, with my second movie, came down to a more compact version which had to be carried by only 2 people. And now that I am starting with the third one, the equipment is becoming more compact that can be efficiently handled by just one person!
Exhibit: Relationship with Tech?
Remo: I can’t live without it. Everything is tech related to me – from my daily routine to my work! My phone, headphones, my music, I need it throughout the day and tech has simply become a part of my life.
Exhibit: Your journey from a small town in Gujrat to the lively city of Mumbai, what are some of the things which are still the same in your life?
Remo: I don’t think I have changed as a person. I still feel I am the same Remo who came to Bombay 25 years back. My habits haven’t changed, I still wake up early in the morning, have the same food I used to have back home. But yeah, everything else changed.
Exhibit: Any tech which you wish you’d invented or would like to invent?
Remo: I wish I’d invented the iPhone, I’d be rich!
Exhibit: In relation to fitness, is there a specific gadget that you use every day?
Remo: I own a set of Beats headphones which completely mutes out the outside noise and that’s really important when I workout! I don’t like the smaller ones, I like the ones that cover the ears entirely and they are safe also.
“I STILL FEEL I AM THE SAME REMO WHO CAME TO BOMBAY 25 YEARS BACK. MY HABITS HAVEN’T CHANGED, I STILL WAKE UP EARLY IN THE MORNING, HAVE THE SAME FOOD I USED TO HAVE BACK HOME. BUT YEAH, EVERYTHING ELSE CHANGED.”
Exhibit: Besides your journey from Gujrat to Mumbai, which is the next big life-changing event?
Remo: One big change happened when I got married. Lizelle came into my life and everything changed.
Exhibit: After mentoring some of the leading stars of the industry, who is one star you would want to work with next?
Remo: I’ve done choreographing everyone, from Hritik to Tiger, to Varun to Shahid, but one person I’d love to choreograph is Amir Khan.
Exhibit: You’re the judge of the leading dance reality show, how does it feel to see talent emerging from the interior of the country with raw talent?
Remo: I feel blessed and I feel lucky, and I feel really proud. When I sit on that chair and see all these people coming and dancing, I myself can’t believe the dance scenario has changed so much. I’ve seen people from small towns in Assam showcase talent in contemporary like they’ve been trained in America. I am stunned and wonder how this is even possible. I just feel really blessed to be sitting there and seeing so much talent unfold in our country.
Exhibit: If given a chance to invest what kind of startup would you like to invest in?
Remo: I am already planning to do something along the lines which gets the dance community together. It’s already in process so you’ll get to see it soon!
Exhibit: Where are going to see you next?
Remo: The 4th season of dance Plus is airing from 6th October. My dance film starts in January with Varun Dhawan and Katrina Kaif. In my production, a few films are lined up too.
Exhibit: The short film culture is gaining popularity, are we going to see you directing one soon?
Remo: I like short films but I am not too excited about shooting short films. I love films, I love making them and I don’t like the word short. For me, a film is a film, it’s not short or long. Maybe, someday.
Exhibit: Talking about movies, the web culture is changed because of Netflix, Amazon and Hotstar. What are your thoughts about it?
Remo: I think the whole web culture has changed the whole outlook of making films and entertainment business, especially Netflix and Amazon. They put in a budget similar, or sometimes more than that of movies for web series. It’s amazing but also scary at the same time because, in the future, you might not have movies in theatres because there is a sense of comfort about watching shows on these platforms as and when you want.
Exhibit: Any show you’re currently binge watching?
Remo: There is no show for me left to binge on Netflix, I am done watching them all! I am looking for a new show that’s exciting.
Exhibit: Your advice to the budding dancers and directors?
Remo: I always say these two things in any case of filmmaking – Your hard work and patience. If you really want to get somewhere, don’t leave midway. There will be problems, there will be difficulties. But if you stop, you’d never know where that next step would have taken you. So, don’t stop, keep going. You will get there.
- One thing that you just can’t stand: People being late
- In a parallel universe, you’d be excelling at: I’ve never sung, so probably singing
- An unusual app on your phone: There’s an app called Remo D’souza
- One gadget you can’t wait to get your hands on: I am waiting for the new iPhone
- A sport that you play: Basketball
- An inspiring book : I don’t read many books but one book that I started reading and has inspired me is The Secret
- Favourite Hollywood movie: Gladiator
- International dancer: Channing Tatum
- Role Model: Michael Jackson
- A ritual that you follow daily: My fitness, gym
- Morning person or a night person: I’m a morning person
- First gadget that you ever bought: The first Philips Tape recorder
- The next addition to your garage: Mercedes-AMG GLE 43 Coupé