The comedy star, Riteish Deshmukh is back with another chucklesome movie, Total Dhamaal which is directed by Indra Kumar. The film is set to hit the theatres on 22nd February!
Q. Were you nervous while shooting Total Dhamaal?
Riteish: Yes I was nervous. I asked Indra Kumar about the script and he told me it features Madhuri. People are looking for money in films, but I look for scripts. I have been a huge fan of hers. To get a chance to work with her and Anil ji in one film is amazing! That too with Indra Kumar directing it.
Q. Do you think being in Indra Kumar’s movie, Masti boosted your career?
Riteish: I boosted his career at that time. I was a newcomer when I met this hugely successful, iconic director, Indra Kumar. I have always been fan of his films and music. Masti was my first commercial film. So thanks to him that people consider to cast me in other comedy movies. His contribution was immense for me being where I am today. This is my 6th film with him, today we are very close friends. I talk to him like I talk to my classmates, that is my relationship with him and that is why I made that comment about him. He knows exactly the film to which I would say yes to. As an actor and a director, we have an understanding regarding a scene, with each other. He is very open to suggestions but whatever it is, its director’s call at the end.
Q. People now relate your face with comedy movies and someone with a funny character. How do you feel about that?
Riteish: For me, its like a receipt of the work I have done. People watch my scene and find it funny, not only my scene makes them laugh but also my presence so it is nice but it also becomes a baggage. If I will do a serious scene then I don’t want that reaction from them. So I could not play a villain in a film which was offered to me earlier.
Q. Why do you think the sequels of Masti did not do well compared to the first part?
Riteish: The second part was a 100 crore film and it was the only adult film which was in that bracket. It was a naughty comedy and an adult films, it has its own audience. So there is nothing wrong with the genre as such. You have to bring humour out without disrespecting anyone. The main reason why it didn’t work was because it was on the internet 45 days before it got released and people were sharing it via an app. It was a strange thing for us. Eventually, the target audience was digital friendly audience but they had already seen it. So that’s unfortunate. So then Indra realized that this is not the genre where he will try again.
Q. Now digital platforms also have many adult series. What do you have to say about it?
Riteish: Yes and I have seen many women doing bold scenes as well. Its fair enough, I am not judgmental about it.
Q. What kind of comedy do you enjoy watching?
Riteish: I don’t switch on to comedy films when I want to watch something. But I am okay with anything. I enjoy rom-coms. I enjoyed doing Bluffmaster, I love that kind of humour.
Q. Do you think being a good actor in the genre of comedy has any flip side to it?
Riteish: The generation which I was a part of, that time big production houses were only interested in stars, not in newcomers. By the time you try to figure out, they started getting interested in newcomers, which is fantastic. I did Masti and Kyaa Kool Hai Hum together, after Tujhe Meri Kasam, which was my first romantic film. Then those worked then I got Bluffmaster and Malamaal Weekly. So all my comedy films started working and people started casting me only comedy films. Then I did Rann and Naach but it didn’t work, had that worked then I would have gotten a chance to do some other things. I have worked with as much as sincerity and my capability in every film but for me, only the comedy films worked. But I am glad that even after all this I am getting a chance to do Marjaavaan.
Q. Do you find roles like Ek Villain’s more difficult to perform than comedy?
Riteish: In comedy there is a certain rhythm, you have to figure it out with timing. There’s a lot of thinking in Ek Villain, it has its own challenges. In comedy, you are in the present moment.
Q. You have been
a big fan of Kader Khan. Any comments?
Riteish: I have been his huge fan and his contribution to Indian cinema has been immense. His dialogues, stories, comedy to language was amazing. Its a great loss.
Q. Do you think our industry looks down at comedy as a genre or at comic actors?
Riteish: I don’t think so. Otherwise nobody would be doing comedy. As actors, we don’t do films to get awards. We make films to entertain people and there is nothing better than laughter. There’s Golmaal, Dhamaal, Welcome, Hera Pheri we have huge franchises and movies which are making people laugh.
Q. Are you producing any film right now?
Riteish: None in Hindi cinema but in Marathi, we are producing Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
BY RUJUTA THETE