Joined: 21 June 2005
Do you bluff at all in the film?!
No, infact I don't. I'm the only character who is as straight as he can be. I play a doctor who gets bluffed by the con man, Roy (Abhishek) but he's grateful to Roy for saving his money and tells him to come to him anytime he's in trouble. 'Zukham se leke Aids thak I'll cure of you anything.' And one day Roy does need the doc's help. The doctor is Roy's moral shoulder and guides him like a father.
Sounds serious. Is there going to be a laugh track with your role?
A laugh track is a conscious effort to provide comic relief. I am of the belief that sometimes the most serious segments can get you laughter because of the quirks in the character. Many scenes in Munnabhai MBBS, for example, are serious scenes. He's angry and you laugh, I don't think he was trying to make you laugh. The moment you try to make people laugh it's not funny. In Bluff Master, the doc is the conman's conscience, but at the same time he has his little mannerisms. If you find that funny, then good!
You have worked with Amitabh Bachchan in 'Waqt' and now you are working with Abhishek Bachchan. What has been your personal observation of the father-son duo?
They are so similar and yet so different. Abhishek is his own man, has his own personality, and yet there so much of Mr. Bachchan in him. He's extremely well mannered, a real gentleman, and I have never seen him give an autograph in a standoffish or brusque manner. He always respects people that approach him. I find he is a very well brought child…though I don't know why I am calling him a child; he's a big man! (Smiles). Abhishek is so much fun, focussed, and he thoroughly enjoys himself. Working with Mr. Bachchan is like working with an institution. Now what can I say? In Waqt we were going for each other's neck and now we are once again together in Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Eklavya.
How would you describe Bluff Master?
Bluff Master is a charming film. It's got Abhishek who I am fond of. Riteish is also sweet and playing a charming character. During the script reading, when I was told that Riteish is doing the part, I said to myself, 'Ya of course, Ritesh… nobody else suits it better.' Priyanka, who again I am fond of (and worked with in Waqt), is so gentle and well behaved, sweet and kind… Honestly, this is a breed that is so focused in what they do, including the director Rohan Sippy. He knows what he wants and at the same time enjoys what he's doing. I am proud to be a part of Bluff Master even though my role is that not that big, but it's a key role and has remained so even after the first draft of the script was shown to me a year and a half ago.
You were a photographer before taking on acting full time. Do you still pursue photography?
Photography was a hobby. But when I took it on as a career I took on another hobby and that is theatre. When theatre took precedence over photography, I took photography back as my hobby. I cannot do without photography - it's an important part of my growth as an actor. It made me understand lighting, lensing, and the movements of the camera. When you understand lens you understand to perform to the magnification of the lens. If it's a wide lens I'm going to shake my head that much more, if it's a tele lens I'm going to shake my head that much less. Cinema acting is far more technical than theatre acting; it's as we know a director's medium and theatre an actor's medium. But I love my photography and I carry my camera wherever I go. I couldn't have asked for more – doing both my hobbies and being paid for at least one of them.
Any message for your fans abroad?
India and its films are now a global presence. The craze for Indian films around the world is exhilarating and all this has been due the audiences abroad. This is a far cry from my days as a youngster when watching Hindi films was not considered to be 'hep'. Today watching Hindi films is cool. We don't need an Ingmar Bergman. Our filmmakers have been doing a good job of making people laugh and helping them forget their worries in the two and half hours spent in the theatres. And if Indian films are cool today it's all because of the Indians abroad who encouraged and recognised the efforts of our filmmakers. God bless you and thank you for your support.
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