December 17, 2001


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Waiting hours for Govinda to arrive for a pre-determined appointment is somewhat of a tradition in the industry.

But Govinda enters the lobby of Hotel Sun 'n' Sand in Mumbai only an hour late. Perhaps he is mending his ways. The year 2001 has not been particularly great for Govinda. Two of his films -- Kyo Kii Main Jhuth Nahin Bolta and Albela bombed at the BO. Taking a cue for the future, Govinda is now reporting on the sets -- not exactly on time but definitely much earlier than one expects him to.

With his next release, G A Seshagiri Rao's Aamdani Atthanni Kharcha Rupaiya directed by K Raghavendra Rao waiting to light up the theatres, Govinda gears up to face the acid test once again.

Anusha Sameer Gill meets Hero Number One.

Govinda -- Hero No 1 Tell us about your role in Aamdani Atthanni Kharcha Rupaiya

I play Bhishma, a thug who undergoes a transformation after marrying Juhi Chawla. I help bring about change in spendthrifts and men who ill-treat their wives. People who have seen the film are raving about it.

But isn't it also true that you are acting in Aamdani Atthanni... primarily to promote your nephew Vinay Anand?

I'll not say I am doing this film to help him out because 'helping' sounds so cheap in this context. I'm just doing it for the 'further standing' of my family. I knew Vinay would do a good job. I had seen the other version of this film a year ago and loved the script so I suggested that he do the film when it was offered to him.

You even promoted your sister's album...

*laughs* Yes. Let me tell you that I'm not supporting anyone but trying to support myself.

My sister and nephew are pillars of the future. They must be capable enough to support their families, too. But they need guidance. For instance, right now, I feel Vinay needs real good scripts to take him ahead. He is too new to make the right kind of decision.

Do you see Vinay being as successful as you are?

I don't bother myself with such thoughts. All I tell everyone is work hard. I never thought I'd become Govinda, the star. Nobody knows where the future takes you. There is only one factor which helps -- hard work.

Everything is in God's hands. Hard work always pays. God is great to everybody who is sincere.

Why did Jeeto Chappar Phad Ke go off the air? Would do you another television show?

When we started, we had decided that we would run it till the 90th episode and then would take a call on whether to continue or not. I completed my schedule of 90 episodes and then we all felt that we needed a break.

I'm not sure what I will do on television again. I'm not someone to boast -- so appearing on a show just because I am Govinda does not appeal to me. Neither am I someone who takes on a challenge just for the sake of it. I will do an assignment when I feel that the project is good enough. If the offer is worthwhile, I might just pick it up.

You came into the industry dancing all the way, now you seem content doing comic roles. Is this some kind of planned strategy?

Govinda in AAKR *laughs* I feel it is important that I stay a hero. That is a planned strategy. I want to entertain people.

Earlier, I was did so with my dancing. Now, I do it with comedy and dancing. I never thought of changing myself or the way I work. I will keep dancing, singing and acting as long as people want me to do it.

Would you say that the media has not been kind to you of late?

I don't think so. I thought about this and realised that people like Govinda. But they didn't like the game show I hosted. That was the problem. The media has always been nice to me.

Would do you another show now?

I had two flops and one hit (Jodi No 1) in the recent past. Kyo Kii... Main Jhuth Nahin Bolta and Albela were flops.

The former's release was ill-timed and people did not like the subject and the ending in Albela.

You refused Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Subhash Ghai's films. Why?

I refused both films because I didn't have much to do in them. But now I am working in Ghai's Ek Aur Ek Gyarah, which is being directed by David Dhawan.

I need to have something substantial to do in a film. Why else would I take on a film at this stage in my career? I will not be wasted in a film. The role Ghai offered me earlier did not excite me. Even Bhansali's offer asking me to play Devdas’ friend wasn’t good enough.

What are your plans now?

I am preparing for a challenging role like the one I played in Hatya. I am training rigorously for it. Not merely as an actor, but getting fit enough physically to play the role.

I also have a few films that are in the planning stages. That apart from the six releases -- Aamdani Athanni Kharcha Rupaiya, Wah Tera Kya Kehna, Chalo Ishq Ladayen, Khullam Khulla Pyar Karenge, Pyar Diwana Hota Hai and Yahoo.

Pyar Diwana Hota Hai with Rani Mukherjee is a mind-blowing film. There is a scene in the film that is an eight-minute shot…continuous without a break. I'm really quite excited about it.

Govinda in AAKR We also hear that you've told your producers that you want to finish your films quickly. Have you decided to mend your ways?

*laughs* Yes. It is good to finish films quickly.

Earlier, producers faced problems because of me. I used to arrive very late on the sets and this delayed the making of the film. Now, that won’t happen. I'm making sure that we have a good product on our hands.

India News Feature Service

All you wanted to know about Govinda
On the sets of Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiya

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