Joined: 21 June 2005
'Abhishek (Bachchan) is like a big brother to me!' - Riteish Deshmukh
After being carped for being a 'wooden' entry into Bollywood, Riteish Deshmukh is suddenly hitting the right notes with his films and the audience. Genial and likeable in person, Riteish's poker faced demeanour evokes laughter. Even from laugh master, Boman Irani, his co-star in the eagerly anticipated Bluffmaster.
After Tusshar, have you found another partner in Abhishek (Bachchan) in Bluff Master?
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 after Kya Kool Hai Hum.
If AB Jr. is the Bluffmaster, where do you fit in?
Obviously Bluff Master 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.
Do we expect another comedy with this film?
I don't see Bluff Master as a comedy. Actually this is the first time that I am finding it difficult to pinpoint over what kind of film it is. If you ask me if it's a comedy, I'll say yes it is…but if you ask me if it's a romance, I'll again say yes it is! The film has every element that a good entertainer needs to have.
But 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 Ram Gopal Varma 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. Having said that, my body language in Bluff Master is slightly different from what I've done before. It's about a young chap who's too enthusiastic about things he knows too much about.
Priyanka feels that Abhishek was the king of pranks on the sets, and that you and Rohan (director) were his sidekicks. Comment.
Oh, then she has yet to come across Ajay (Devgan), whose pranks can scare the hell out of people, (Laughs). Abhishek is more into lighthearted banter and teasing. He never played any pranks on me and treats me like his younger brother. Bluff Master 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, but not so serious here. I always enjoy watching my co-actors react to different situations. Interacting with Abhishek is 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.
And Rohan, your director?
Rohan is not a hard taskmaster. He's like a ghost - I never see him walk around, he just floats in from nowhere. He's so soft spoken that sometimes you have to strain your ears to hear him say 'Action' and 'Cut'. But as a director he's clear, quite contemporary in thoughts and approach that will be evident from his film, music and characters. He's open to suggestions, but never at the cost of the film.
After dancing to a British track in Kya Kool Hai Hum, you'll be doing the same in Bluff Master?
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.
You also met with a freak accident on the sets. How did that happen?
Don't remind me of that… We were shooting for dance bar sequence, when the guy opposite missed his beat and I got the full blast of the steel rod that he swung in my direction. I've never been in a fight or a brawl in my life. I'm a peaceful guy. I guess things have to catch up somewhere where you have to get beaten up. I now know what it feels like to have a steel rod hit you right under your jaw. I was back to shooting after four stitches and two days of non-action. And the best part was to hide the bandaid on my right profile. So we shot an entire scene with just my left profile to the camera.
Don't you feel the number of multistarrers that are doing will affect your chances as a solo hero?
The multi-starrers that I've worked in have done better than my two solo films (Out of Control and Tujhe Meri Kasam) that make 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, and Rajkumar Santoshi. Now these are directors that every actor dreams of working with, 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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