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    “I have got more than what I deserved” – Riteish Deshmukh

    [Interview by Joginder Tuteja]
    Friday, November 10, 2006
    Riteish Deshmukh - a young man who has boasted of one hit every year, be it his debut flick ‘Tujhe Meri Kasam’ [2003], ‘Masti’ [2004], ‘Kya Kool Hain Hum’ [2005] and ‘Malamaal Weekly’ [2006]. Will he follow it up with ‘Apna Sapna Money Money’ which releases today? Let’s get into a conversation with him to hear it from himself!

    Riteish, this is the first ever film since your debut in ‘Tujhe Meri Kasam’ that seems to be running on your shoulders!

    Arrey no, that’s not the case [smiles]; I won’t say that the film is running on my shoulders. Even the promos suggest that the film is about this horde of characters which come together. It would be unfair to say that the film is centered on any one individual. The film was a collective effort for each of us and we all had a whale of time.

    But you do seem prominent in the posters too in spite of a crowd around you?

    Well, someone has to be put at the top and they must have thought of me [laughs]. But there is nothing like one being supreme than other in the film.

    Promos indicate that ‘Apna Sapna Money Money’ is one freaky riotous flick. Is the entire film equally funny?

    True, ASMM is a funny film and I would attribute it a lot to writer/director Sangeeth Sivan who has ensured that each of the characters in the film gets his/her own backdrop. There is a certain reason behind a particular character acting the way he is. This is the reason why you would see Rajpal Yadav as a wannabe Don who has lost his heart and mind to the character of ‘Sarkar’ after watching the namesake film. On the other hand Jackie Shroff plays an original Don who has lost everything but his style and is in a state of bankruptcy. Suneil Shetty plays an interesting role of a cop who detests criminals and wants to catch them at all cost.

    You seem to be in a freaking out mood too with the song ‘Guitar’.

    [Gets excited] Oh yes, absolutely! It is my favorite number in the film and I am so glad that it has become a huge hit. I have always been a huge Govinda fan and have been missing the kind of songs he used to feature in on TV for a long time now. I have loved his songs like ‘Tujhe Mirchi Lagi’ and ‘Ankhiyon Se Goli Maare’ and hence I jumped when I heard ‘Guitar’. Though there are three rap based songs in the film, ‘Guitar’ is truly massy and an absolute favorite.

    Apparently Anupam Kher goes all ‘fida’ on you once you appear in drag!

    True, and isn’t he such a delightful actor to work with? He makes a scene look so guide just on the basis of adding on his stuff to it. You give him a line and he creates something special out of it. He made me so comfortable and helped me a lot in our scenes together and you would see that for yourself during the film. It’s so sad that we were last seen in Sangeeth’s ‘Kya Kool Hain Hum’ but didn’t have a single scene together!

    How about you being considered as one of the actresses in the film due to the drag factor?

    See, me in drag is not a very attractive idea. If there is a good looking actor in a drag then it still makes sense but when it comes to someone like me, then it is a scary thought [laughs].

    With so many characters in the film, how complex does the film become?

    Yes, the film indeed has a lot of racks but each of them has been integrated very well in the screenplay. The film is essentially about some lost diamonds and how some people know about them and some are running before them. The diamonds reach a ‘basti’ and all the fun begins.

    And in the ‘basti’ lives Shreyas Talpade, right?

    Yes, he plays my cousin called Arjun Fernandez in the film. Since we both belong to Maharashtra, we bonded quite well on the sets too. He is the only honest character in the film and professionally too is a very good actor. He is shown to be in love with Ria Sen who is a very sweet girl but someone who won’t go beyond her father [Anupam Kher] even if she loves the guy immensely. She does have her heart beating for Shreyas but then she loves her father too which brings her to the crossroads.

    How about you and Koena?

    Well, I try to sort out a love story between Shreyas and Ria and bump across Koena. As it happens, we hate the sight of each other but soon love blooms and out hearts start beating for each other. And as they say, hatred is the first step to love..ha ha!

    Has that happened to you in real life?

    No no!

    Now coming to the hottest topic of discussions so far – your looks! How varied they are?

    I have 4 different looks in the film, out of which one is my own basic look. Then there is one character where I play a Nepali. Well, don’t even remind me of that since it required all sorts of prosthetic makeup etc. which used to last as much as 5 hours. Then there is this 56 years old man called Sarju Maharaj. Last but not the least I play a woman in the ‘basti’.

    If one has to quantitatively divide your different characters in the film, how would that look?

    Well, if you take a standard as 100%, 50-60% of that would be a woman, 10% Nepali, 20% Sarju Maharaj and remaining 10-20% as the real me!

    With so much fun around you, one hopes that you do not get slotted as an actor who mostly does comic/light hearted films.

    I am trying out different things if you look at the films I would be seen in newer future. I have just returned from the shoot of ‘Cash’ which is an out and out action film. Then there is ‘De Taali’ which is a sweet urban film. I am also looking at some romantic roles. And yes, I am open to negative roles too.

    In fact it was refreshing to see you doing something different in ‘Naach’ and ‘Fight Club’.

    True, there is variety but in the end it needs directors to take a step and cast me in different roles. In the meantime I need to choose from what I get.

    Also, you have been in multistarrers for major part of your career. Haven’t you ever thought of a sole hero film for you?

    But tell me how many films are solo heroes today? 4, 5, 6? And how about 100 odd other films that are made in Bollywood? They are all multistarrers, aren’t they?

    Does that make you a content man?

    Why not? I am happy playing what I am right now and I think I have got more than what I deserved. It is certainly more than my share. In January, I would be completing my 4 years in the industry and I find myself still doing films. That pleases me indeed and hence I am happy to be a part of the industry.

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