I have a PHD in double meaning dialogues and visuals- Aftab Shivdasani

The team of India Forums gets Aftab Shivdasani under the scanner and talks about how Grand is Grand Masti. In an exclusive chat with Aftab Shivdasani.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 | 6:18:15 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Start talking about Grand Masti and Aftab looks down giving us a shy smile. We start the interview and he says that more than the cast laughing and having fun while making this deadly outrageous mad ride, the audience should have a greater and a louder laugh watching it. India Forums in an exclusive chat with Aftab Shivdasani

How is Grand Masti different from Masti?

It is not a sequel to Masti. The reason why its not a sequel is because it has got nothing to do with the story. The things that are common between Masti and Grand Masti are the male leads and the director. So, the place, the time, the circumstances, the story, everything else is radically different as you can see nobody from the previous film is in the poster besides the three of us. We play the same characters though. The names are the same, the jobs are the same but the stuff we do is ridiculously different.
The story is completely different. We are married men but the wives are different this time. Infact Riteish's character in the film has a son also. We get a call from our college for a reunion and what Grand Masti happens there is to worth watching. 

Are you expecting a sequel to Grand Masti as well?

I don't know how the film is going to do. I mean we have shown so much in this one so I don't know what more would we show in the third part if there is any. 

According to reports, you were shocked and surprised to see the number of hits on the uncensored version of Grand Masti's trailer. Was there a sense of uncertainty in your heart that time?

There is a sense of uncertainty even now. Now let me tell you the journey, when the script was narrated to me I was shocked, I hid behind the couch, I hid under a plant. I told the writer, how can you write something like this? It is so bold. On some of the scenes I told him, Are you mad? Are you trying to kill us or what? ( Laughs). He said no, I am convinced that we can do this. All 3 of us, Riteish, Vivek and I had our separate reservations and it was the credibility of the director who we have worked with in the past, who convinced us, guided us, supported us and walked us through this entire crazy joyride called Grand Masti. All of us have gone way beyond our comfort zone in this film. I can clearly say that this is the boldest film that I have done.
Apart from the dialogues what were your reservations in the film?

See, the problem is not the dialogues . The difference between Masti and Grand Masti is that the dialogues were double meaning in the first one but here every dialogue has a visual. So what you heard in the first part, you'll see in the second part. Reservation, you feel because you are moving out of your comfort zone in such a radical way but I knew that its really really funny. So what was going in its favour was the humour. 

In the first part of the Masti franchise, there was Ajay Devgn as a corrective agent in the film for you 3. What about a corrective agent in this one?

There are a lot of corrective agents in this one as well. You probably cannot see it in the poster but there are. See, Masti was made with Ajay Devgn in mind because he is a very big star and you know the requirement of Masti that time was Ajay's role. Grand Masti has a lot of characters in the film. There is Pradeep ji in the film, who was in Ghajini. He plays the college principal when we go for the reunion. He is a terrorising character in the film. So there is this fear inside us whenever we see him in the film. Its in that fear that all the comedy comes out. 

Alot of people have been offended with such a film. What is your say in it?

You cant make a film for everybody. This is a space that has not been explored much. How many films that you know of are commercial adult comedies? Very few of them. Somewhat all adult comedies border on the line of soft porn, Grand Masti does not. The jokes are funny, to some people they might come across as vulgar. But I want to clarify that we have not made this film to offend anyone's sensibilities. It is an entertaining film. It might not attract many. Mostly women feel that women are being objectified, showing them in a bad light, encouraging unfortunate incidents in the society. I don't completely agree with that because it is made for comedy, with comedy. We are not sending a social message out to the country that what you need to do to make the state of affairs better. It is basically entertainment. Now if you don't see it in that light then that is your personal predicament. I am not going to change that. I made the film because I want to entertain you and if it does not appeal to you then good luck to you, good luck to me.  
Many established actors do not want to be associated with adult comedies. What do you want to say about the divide that exists within the industry?

I did not even know about this divide that exists. Its news to me. I think its difficult to generalise a section of actors or a section of people. I didn't know about this divide. Actors who have reservations about doing an adult comedy, its their predicament. I cant sit and change their views, they cant sit and change my views. I think every actor has its own parameters of what they are comfortable doing and what not. To each its own. 

How is the bond between you, Vivek and Ritiesh?

We love each other. Riteish is the craziest of us all. All of us have got fantastic chemistry. We have taken off from we left in the 1st part. Although I have worked with Riteish in 2 films after Masti, whenever we have met including Vivek, we have always been extremely friendly, warm, laughing, cracking jokes. In this film it is imperative that the chemistry stays intact and by the grace of god effortlessly it did. We love hanging out with each other. Apart from having love and respect for each other, the most important thing amongst us that we don't take each other seriously. If we start to take each other seriously, then everything that we say would start to offend each other and we wont be able to make a film like this together. Infact  our chemistry is visible in the promos. It is much better than the first part. 

Playing a certain kind of role is a way to escape from what a person actually is. Alot of actors believe in this. Do you too?

So are you trying to say that I will cheat on my girlfriend and my wife (Wink). No. I treat this as a film and i treat it up to the level of a film. Every actor has some shades of his or her personality in what he or she does. I have my own set of morals. Doesn't mean that I have to agree with what I do on screen. It is a job. I am allowed to do my job. I don't know about their comfort zones, I don't know about their hiding behind and doing stuff on screen.

Reports came out that you were apprehensive about your character in Masti..

I was not apprehensive about the sex comedy bit. I had rejected Masti then because I was offered Riteish's role. Indu ji had come to me with the role of a henpecked husband which I had already played in Awara Paagal Deewana. The matter ended. He asked me after a few weeks and he asked if he could offer me a different role in the same film. He narrated the script, I heard the other role, the one which I eventually did. I liked it and the rest is history.  So if I had any apprehensions about the film was because of this reason and not because it was an adult comedy or something. 

How much did you get educated about 'double meaning comedy' during the making of Grand Masti?

(Smiles) I have got a degree. I have a PHD in double meaning dialogues and double meaning visuals. This film is all about visuals. It has ridiculously funny lines in it with double, triple and quadruple  meanings but the visuals attached to this is something where some people think is its too much but its funny. This is happening probably because you haven't seen anything like this in Hindi Cinema, you have seen American Pie and Hangover and you are cool with all that. 

Talking about comedy, we have stallwards like David Dhawan, Rohit Shetty, Aneez Bazmi, Priyadarshan,apart from Indra Kumar. Would you want to explore their school of comedy as well?

Of course why not. I think they are fantastic directors. I have worked with Indu ji, Priyan ji in Hungama. I have not worked with Rohit, David ji and Aneez bhai. They all have something common but at the same time they all have something different about them. Infact it was David ji and Govinda's combination in the 90's that became untouchable. Nobody was a bigger star than Govinda when there was a David Dhawan film coming up. I mean 17, 18 films with a director-actor combination, I don't think anybody has done so many films with one particular actor. That was the kind of combination that guaranteed an opening, a golden jubilee what we used to call the 50 week of a film. Now there is a 100 crore club that has come up. If a film earns 99 crore then the film is a flop. So the barometer of that has changed.  

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Posted on: 27 August 2013 at 5:59pm
Like really, having a PhD in double meaning dialogues and visuals. Is that something to be proud of?

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