The original “Gully boy” Naved Shaikh aka Neazy has a rags-to-riches story that Zoya Akhtar believes needs to be told. The slumdog millionaire feels blessed to have his story told by Zoya Akhtar, who has delivered blockbusters such as Zindagi Na Milegi Dobaara and Dil Dhadakne Do. The Kurla slum rapper couldn’t be more excited.
“I have been working on this project for the past 18 months. Zoya first heard of me while she was editing Dil Dhadakne Do (2015) and saw the video of my song, Aafat. She was surprised that Mumbai slums have so much talent. Our first meeting was at Blue Frog in Lower Parel (shut since last August) where we were performing for MTV Indies (off air since last September). A common friend, Ankur Tiwari, arranged a few more meetings,” reveals rapper Neazy.
After watching the Neazy based documentary Bombay 70, Zoya Akhtar decided that a film must be based on him, come what may. The rapper states “Zoya also met the documentary’s director to discuss the basic plot. She and I had heart-to-heart chats on my journey; she wanted to crack the ambiance of my slum. I was shocked when Zoya came visiting because she makes movies about rich people (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Dil Dhakadne Do). She also met my friends to understand my background.”
Zoya is yet to show the final draft of the script to Neazy. But until then, He has been given the daunting task of being an understudy for Ranveer Singh, who has the goal of getting the body language and the diction right for his upcoming persona.
“The dialogues are in Hindi and English, but once we are on board, we will help turn it the way we speak. She also intends to retain some of my original tracks in the film. Ankur will supervise the music.” adds the rapper.
Ranveer has met the 25-year old quite a few times now, and he has grown fond enough to be promoting him on every platform known to man. “I like the guy. We worked together for a song in Hey Bro (2015). He is a versatile actor and I have no doubts that he can effortlessly play an emperor in Padmavati and a rapper in this film.”
A disturbed Neazy expressed his worries to Zoya of his real life story to be a ‘dramatic mess’, who was pacified by Akhtar saying that the script is bound to have a handful of fictional dramatic sequences. The rapper gave a go ahead with total conviction that the film will change the way Rhythm and Poetry (Rap) is perceived in India. He believes that the movie should be made to convey a message that this form of music isn’t limited to just pass lewd comments at women.
He believes that this film is nothing but the start, as he has his own battles to fight. His main task is to convince his near-and-dear ones to pursue the art as he firmly believes that he has found his calling.
So, are you looking faarward to Gully boy? Not as much as Ranveer and Alia, we bet!