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    I had a ball doing 'Salaam Namaste': Abhishek

    [Interview by Subhash K. Jha]
    Saturday, September 17, 2005
    Abhishek Bachchan says he enjoyed every moment of his comic role as a frazzled gynecologist in "Salaam Namaste" and insists it should not be labelled a guest appearance.

    "I had great fun doing the part. It was quite a change from everything I''ve done so far," says the star.

    "I''m not a guest in ''Salaam Namaste''. I don''t do guest appearances!.. I don''t believe in them... It''s almost like you''re doing the film a favor when in fact I chose to be in ''Salaam Namaste'' because I wanted to be in it. I come in as a surprise," Abhishek told IANS in an interview.

    And he is full of praise for Saif Aly Khan''s comic timing. "To do comedy with Saif is an immense pleasure. I don''t think any contemporary actor gets his comic timing so right. He''s a treat on the sets in comedy. The suggestions he made to me were invaluable."

    Excerpts from the interview:

    Your guest appearance at the climax of "Salaam Namaste" brings the house down.

    Hey. I don't do guest appearances! I wasn't a guest in "Hum Tum". I'm not a guest in "Salaam Namaste". I don't believe in them. It's highly immature. There's something detached about the term. It's almost like you're doing the film a favour when in fact I chose to be in "Salaam Namaste" because I wanted to be in it. I come in as a surprise.

    How did you decide to be part of it?

    I didn't. Aditya Chopra did. He called me up to ask me to be part of "Salaam Namaste". I'd never say no to him in my life... And I had great fun doing the part. It was quite a change from everything I've done so far. It was very high-energy slapstick humour. I had never done that before. I had a ball doing it.

    Where did you find the time to squeeze it in?

    I finished my role in one-and-a-half days. I was working with friends. I had always wanted to work with Saif. I got a slight opportunity to do so in "Hum Tum". But that was just in passing. In "Salaam Namaste" I got to work with him at close quarters. And to do comedy with Saif is an immense pleasure. I don't think any contemporary actor gets his comic timing so right. He's a treat on the sets in comedy. The suggestions he made to me were invaluable.

    I believe there was much improvisation for your sequence?

    Preity is a close friend, and so is Arshad Warsi. I've known the director Siddharth Anand from the time he was a child. He's the nephew of Mr Tinu Anand who made films like "Kaalia" and "Shahenshah" with my dad. So we practically grew up together. We had a lot of fun doing this. I loved playing the doctor... never done that before. I got to deliver three babies. Has to be some sort of a record.

    And now you're doing Karan Johar's film!

    It's weird. I keep forgetting that I'm on the sets of one of this country's biggest filmmakers. Karan is so much a part of the family sometimes you forget he's a director. When you see him working you realize why he is who he is. He's such a pleasure to work with. The way he handles the cast and crew is exemplary.

    You are doing Goldie Behl's film?

    Yes. And my decision to do his second film isn't an emotional one. He hasn't made a film since "Bas Itna Sa Khwab Hai". Goldie was busy consolidating his TV software company. That's why he took a bit of time to start another film. I enjoyed his second script. And I see him as a very, very capable director. I'm looking forward to working with him again.


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