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    Riteish Deshmukh: “I’m not dying to do solo films”

    [Interview by Faridoon Shahryar]
    Saturday, June 17, 2006
    Riteish Deshmukh is not the ideal choice for being a “Hero” in a Bollywood potboiler with his lean frame and average face. Starting with ‘Tujhe Meri Kasam’ (Which was a hit in Bihar), this down-to-earth son of Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilas Rao Deshmukh has carved a place for himself with his affable charm, simplicity and friendliness. Stars and fans flock him for he is as a performer and a person rather than his powerful lineage. After winning best actor in a comic role in Indra Kumar’s ‘Masti’, Riteish repeated the feet with winning the best actor in a comic role for Rohan Sippy’s ‘Bluffmaster’. IndiaGlitz gets into a warm chat with him before the world premiere of ‘Bluffmaster’ tomorrow at the Star Plus:

    After Tusshar in ‘Kya Kool Hain Hum’, you seem to have found another cool dude in Abhishek in ‘Bluffmaster’?

    Hey, I never thought of it that way. But who knows after ‘Bluffmaster’, Abhishek and I may become the new hit pair the way Tusshar and I came to be known as one after ‘Kya Kool Hain Hum’.

    If AB Jr is the ‘Bluffmaster’, where do you fit in?

    Obviously Bluffmaster is primarily about a person who bluffs people, and Abhishek plays that person who has mastered the act. He leads two lives – one with his girlfriend (Priyanka Chopra) and the other where he goes about conning people. In the course of his dual life, he meets a petty thief (that's me), with whom he develops a sort of teacher-student kind of relationship.

    Your presence in any film is now strongly associated with comedy…

    I'm happy if my presence brings a smile to ones face. I have no problems about being tagged with a comic image. Eventually if I'm given films to prove otherwise I'll do justice to that too. There are directors like Ramgopal Verma who see me in a different light – he gave me a serious role in ‘Naach’ and in ‘Darna Zaroori Hai’ the track is anything but funny.

    Priyanka says that Abhishek was the king of pranks on the sets, and that you and Rohan (director) were his sidekicks.

    Oh, then she has yet to come across Ajay (Devgan), whose pranks can scare the hell out of people, (Laughs). Abhishek is more into light-hearted banter and teasing. He never played any pranks on me and treats me like his younger brother. ‘Bluffmaster’ is my second film with him after ‘Naach’, and it was quite fantastic. As a person he was the same on both the sets, but as an actor it was great to see Abhishek deal with different situations – he was serious in ‘Naach’, and not so serious here. I always enjoy watching my co-actors react to different situations. Interacting with Abhishek was always fun. He's always been like a big brother to me. He's a caring guy and that's what I like about him.

    After dancing to a British track in ‘Kya Kool Hai Hum’, you've done the same in ‘Bluffmaster’.

    This one is a Persian song – Boro Boro by Swedish singer, Arash. I didn't understand a word he was saying or singing, but it was a catchy tune. The way the song is placed in the film is quite interesting as one thing leads to another in that situation. A couple of lines are sung in Hindi and I remember saying why bother to do that when it sounds cooler the way it is. Not everything has to be translated.

    Don't you feel the number of multistarrers that are doing will affect your chances as a solo hero?

    The multistarrers that I've worked in have done better than my two solo films (‘Out of Control’ and ‘Tujhe Meri Kasam’) that made me believe that multistarrers suit me as an actor. Besides I'm doing the best I can with whatever offers I get, and I've got a few from directors like Indra Kumar, David Dhawan, Rajkumar Santoshi. Now these are directors that every actor dreams of working, and I am happy doing whatever roles they offer me. I do get offers to do solo hero films, but I am not dying to do them because I feel I won't be able to do justice to them at this age and stage of my career.


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