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Exclusive! Raj & DK on working with Manoj Bajpayee in The Family Man: We were going to exploit him, show sides people haven't seen before

At the OTTplay Awards 2022, Raj and DK also dropped a major hint regarding the third season of The Family Man.

Exclusive! Raj & DK on working with Manoj Bajpayee in The Family Man: We were going to exploit him, show sides people haven't seen before

Filmmakers Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK at the OTTplay Awards 2022

  • Aishwarya Vasudevan, Prachita Pandey

Last Updated: 08.20 AM, Sep 20, 2022

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One of the most successful filmmakers we have in the film industry is Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, aka Raj & DK. The duo gave us one of the most loved OTT series, The Family Man, on Amazon Prime Video. The series, featuring Manoj Bajpayee in the lead role, has had two successful seasons, and the fans can't wait for the third season. Moreover, at the recently concluded OTTplay Awards 2022, Raj & DK went on to win Best Web Series (Popular) for The Family Man Season 2.

Soon after bagging the award, we met up with Raj and DK, wherein the duo spoke at length about the excitement for the third season, working with Manoj Bajpayee, OTT censorship, Shahid Kapoor starrer Farzi, and more.

Season 2 of The Family Man is getting bigger and better

Raj Nidimoru: No, it's hard. It's the curse of sequels. Usually, when we start a sequel, everybody knows that sequels don't work that easily. So we knew what we were up to. But thankfully, we were also blissfully unaware of the success of season one because we were already shooting season two, so we didn't know how big it was going to get. So it kind of helped us to stick to our guns and our original vision. It didn't really deviate much from it as to how to make it better or worse or tweak it, so we just stuck to our original plan. I think that helped a lot in getting the season to be as good or probably better than before."

Expectations from The Family Man Season 3

Krishna DK: That's the thing about this format, right? I mean, it takes us, like, a couple of years to make it. The crazy thing is that it was supposed to launch at midnight. But a lot of the fans know that it launches a few hours before that. So by two o'clock in the night, people are already tweeting saying, 'Finished watching the season of any season three coming.' And I'm like, "Guys, it takes you two years of our lives. And it's done in like six hours." So yeah, that's a tough ask. But season three is in development, and we are working on it. It'll go on the floors soon.

On getting the idea of blurring the language barriers with the series

Krishna DK: We didn't start off thinking, "Oh, let's get actors from everywhere." That was not the idea, we were writing. As we were developing the story, it felt like a pan-India story where all the characters, I mean, it starts off in Kerala, it's mostly set in Bombay, and then Delhi, and it goes to Kashmir, so it spans the entire length and breadth of India. Once we finished the writing, that's when the thought occurred to us that, unlike a movie where there is a box office consideration and you have to have recognisable faces, somehow the format of OTT took that burden away from us. So we thought, let's cast actors true to the characters, like if it's a Malayalam character, let's cast a Malayali actor, if it's Kashmiri, let's cast a Kashmiri. So that's what we went and did. We just stuck true to the story, to the characters, and went and picked the cast. It gave us an opportunity to work with all these super talented people from all over the country. So suddenly, I think it helped us in that sense.

If they prefer movies or series?

Raj Nidimoru: It's like cricket. You play ODI, you play Test, and you play T20. So that's my favourite analogy for this medium. We love to do series because we can explore as a filmmaker a lot more than a feature film. Lately, it kind of limits you too because there are a lot of limitations and restrictions on a feature. It's like T20, you have to figure out a different game for it. So we enjoy both. We are feature filmmakers, but we are loving this format too.

Krishna DK: A lot of times the story develops into the script and it dictates if it's going to be a series or a film. The idea itself finds its own destiny.

Censorship on OTT?

Raj Nidimoru: See, when we started the series, the first thing we realised was the boundaries were off. At that point, they were completely off and we jumped on to the language more than anything else at that point. We really loved the idea of "Hey, you know what, why should it just be Hindi? Why can't it be?" It's India; we have so many cultures, and so many religions, and we can set it anywhere. So that was our first instinct to exploit this boundaryless medium at that point. So we jumped... I still remember that in the first season, when it starts off, the first scene is in Malayalam, and everybody was searching for their subtitles and saying, "Am I in the wrong show." Then we went with the second season, and it started off with Tamil, and then everybody was going, "What again?!" I thought that was freedom; we really enjoyed it. For each filmmaker, there are a lot of things they want to explore, and the restrictions, the fewer they are, the more they can express themselves.

Any apprehensions about having different languages in a Hindi series?

Krishna DK: In season one, of course, we started off with Malayalam, but there is a little, it's not too much of it. So we were fairly confident that in this day and age where we are all watching Spanish shows like Money Heist or Narcos, and you know, we're all used to watching with subtitles, so we were fairly confident that subtitles would do the trick. But once we accomplished that in Season One, it gave us confidence in Season Two, so there's a lot more Tamil in the second season than Malayalam in the first. But there we were confident that, you know what, let's stick to the scene, whatever the character should be speaking, let that be the language. I think it also paid off because the actors are more natural and the characters come across as more genuine rather than trying to force a language they're not supposed to be speaking.

Regarding Manoj Bajpayee

Raj Nidimoru: He's such a versatile actor that we're not going to use him normally. We were going to really exploit him and show the sides that people haven't seen before. 

Krishna DK: He is going to be everything that Srikanth Tiwari was not.

On Farzi with Shahid Kapoor

Raj Nidimoru: This format allows you to really explore acting. To headline a show, you have to be a strong actor because you're going to watch this person and fall in love with the character or hate the person depending on how well he does and how she does. As a result, this format allows us to work with actors from everywhere. All kinds of great actors are working with us. That's the privilege. That's the time we are in. So I'm just grateful for that.

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