RITEISH DESHMUKH tells JYOTHI VENKATESH that he has not shut his shop as a politician, though he admits that it has taken a back seat.
What is your role in Aladin?
I play the role of a college student called Aladin, who is extremely timid and shy. Aladin hates lamps because he is troubled by his friends in his school who refer to him as the Aladin from the fable. Aladin’s parents were archaeologists.
To what extent could you relate with the role?
I could identify a lot with the role because I too was alone when I was in college and a loner. The role is somewhere very close to me. Like Aladin in the film, I was very reserved while in my college. I think the most difficult thing in life for an actor is to play oneself.
How tough was it to play the role of Aladin?
As an actor, you take the help of crutches but to play a simple guy is quite difficult. I tried to be subtle as well as vulnerable in Aladin. I should say it was great to play a role which was different. I should also confess that it did not take much to be a loser, because I feel that I was a loser while in college and all I had to do to prepare for the part was to think of my college days.
Is it true that you did not take up any other film when Aladin was being made?
I did not want to work on any other film when Aladin was being shot because I wanted to concentrate on the character of Aladin. Aladin is a big film and it was necessary for me to be available at the beck and call of my director Sujoy Ghosh, especially since I had to maintain the look of the character. I had almost completed my work in Aladin when I took up David Dhawan’s Do Knot Disturb. Though at some point of life, you do a lot of films, I always make it a point o finish all my films at one stretch.
How was the experience of working with Amitabh Bachchan?
Amitji is a fantastic. Every actor will dream of sharing screen space with a great actor like him. Now I can at least boast that I have also done a film with him, besides having gone on a world tour with Amitji, after I started shooting for Aladin. I had first met Amitji as Abhishek’s father when I was shooting with him for Bluff Master.
What is your approach as an actor?
As an actor, I make it a point to adapt myself to the kind of film that I do. The role that I have played in Aladin is in contrast to the role that I had essayed in Do Knot Disturb. I have never done a film in which I did not have to be loud. I had to be loud in my films like Masti and Dhamaal. Some portions of Heyy Babyy revealed me as the loudest actor. I am of the opinion that if loudness is supported by a scene in the parameters of a film, it does not strain you as an actor; though it will strain you if it is a normal film.
Have you ever done a scene though you were not convinced by what you did?
You go by the director’s convictions because he knows the best. I confess I was loud in the climax of Fan Club where it strained me, because I was not convinced by the way I went about doing my scene and also the director was adamant.
To what extent did you enjoy acting with Govinda?
Chi Chi is great as an actor. I enjoyed working with him in Do Knot Disturb. I have never worked with a better actor in a comedy role. I made it a point to analyses how he went about doing the scenes. It was great fun acting in Do Knot Disturb. David Dhawan has a child like energy on the sets and infuses that energy on all his actors on the sets.
Do you get up set when you are type-cast as a comedian?
As long as I am successful as an actor and my films run, I do not care which genre of film I am doing. I got accolades for my comic performance in films like Masti, Bluff Master, Dhamaal etc. Apna Sapana Money Money had me in a comic role but it was a film which challenged me as an actor. I am also quite happy about the character that I had played in Bluff Master. I am also quite happy about the way my role in Aladin has shaped up. Thankfully Aladin and my forthcoming film Rann are not comedies. Rann is a serious film in which I play an investigating reporter. Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai is a romantic film directed by Milind Zaveri, in which you will not see me in the comic slot. I am quite proud of Milind as a director.
Are you inclined to join politics by following in the footsteps of your father Vilasrao Deshmukh and brother Amit Deshmukh?
I love politics but would not take part in it actively. I love politics because I have learnt what politics is right from my childhood. I am happy doing what I am doing now- acting and want to concentrate on it. I would say that politics has taken a back set but the shop has not been shut, though I do not concentrate on it as much as I feel I should.
Are you happy with the way your career has shaped till date?
I now enjoy acting because I feel that I have learnt the craft by observing other actors on the sets and am quite comfortable with them. I find some peace after I perform a scene. It is important to grow. I have tried to improve with every film of mine. I should say that I have got more than what I had expected from my career and even have a sense of achievement, but at the same time I also do feel that I have a great deal more to achieve. That’s what I think will make live worthwhile!