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Aftab Shivdasani: Grand Masti is not soft porn

September 10, 2013 13:58 IST

Aftab Shivdasani: Grand Masti is not soft porn

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Sonil Dedhia in Mumbai

After a long time, we will see Aftab Shivdasani in proper movie role this Friday, as his film Grand Masti lines up for release.

Co-starring Vivek Oberoi and Riteish Deshmukh, the film's trailer is adult-rated, and has a lot of lewd jokes.

In this interview with Sonil Dedhia, Aftab confesses that he was quite embarrassed to be a part of Grand Masti.

Is Grand Masti a sequel to Masti?

No, Grand Masti is not a sequel but a franchise.  The film is radically different. There is no continuation in the story and it has nothing to do with the previous film.

The only things that are common are the three lead actors and their characters, the director and the producer.

What are your memories of Masti?

I remember (director) Inder Kumar came to narrate the film and he wanted me to play Riteish’s character which was of a henpecked husband.

I politely refused him as I had played a similar character in Awara Pagal Deewana (2002), which had become a huge hit. I didn’t want to stereotype myself.

After a few weeks, he came back and offered me the role that I eventually did. 


Image: Aftab Shivdasani in Grand Masti


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'Grand Masti is the boldest film I have ever done'

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Sonil Dedhia

In one of your recent interviews you mentioned that you were shocked and surprised when the Grand Masti story was narrated to you.

When the story was narrated to me, I told the writers (Milap Zaveri and Tushar Hiranandani) how can you write something as bold as this?

They were convinced about their script. I had my reservations about doing the film. I even thought of not doing the film.

Riteish (Deshmukh), Vivek (Oberoi) and I have gone way beyond our comfort zone to do this film. This is the boldest film I have ever done. 

Apart from the dialogues what else were your reservations?

In Masti, most of the lines had a double meaning. In Grand Masti, every dialogue has a visual. Most of the lines will hit you below the belt (laughs). But these lines are really funny.

Some of the gags were actually done and shown to me during the narration, so that was the reason I had my reservations.


Image: Karishma Tanna, Aftab Shivdasani and Manjiri Phadnis in Grand Masti


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'Some people might find Grand Masti vulgar'

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Sonil Dedhia

How much of an education in double meaning dialogues did you get while shooting for the film?

I have done my thesis in double meaning! This film not only has double meaning but triple and quadruple meaning dialogues (laughs)

Many who have seen the promos think the film is too bold.

There aren’t many adult comedy films in Hindi cinema. An adult comedy film normally borders on soft porn but Grand Masti doesn’t.

The jokes are funny. I am sure for some people they will come across as vulgar but we haven’t made this film to offend anyone.

We have made an entertaining film. I am sure there are people, mostly women, who wouldn’t want to go to the theatres to watch it. A lot of people say we have objectified women and shown them in a bad light. I don’t agree.


Image: Vivek Oberoi, Riteish Deshmukh and Aftab Shivdasani in Grand Masti


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'I will never cheat on my wife or my girlfriend'

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Sonil Dedhia

Like the divide in the audience, there is a divide internally in the industry as well. There are some actors who feel that adult comedies

If some actors have reservations about doing adult comedies, that is their view. I can’t change their views nor can they change mine. Every actor has his own parameters of what he is comfortable with.

Actors say that playing certain characters is a sort of escapism for them from the sort of person they are in real life. Is this the case with you and Grand Masti?

(Laughs) So you are saying that I am going to cheat on my wife or my girlfriend? I don’t think I will ever do that.

I have my own set of morals. It doesn’t mean that whatever I do on screen, I agree to it in my personal life also. 


Image: Aftab Shivdasan and Mariyam Zakaria in Grand Masti


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'Even if a film earns Rs 99 crores it is considered a flop'

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Sonil Dedhia

Do you feel that Rs 100 crores should be the barometer to determine the success of the film?

Gone are the days when he had silver and golden jubilees. It is unfortunate that today the film has to collect Rs 100 crores to be called a hit. Even if a film earns Rs 99 crores it is considered a flop.

You haven’t had a very successful career so far. Do you regret doing any films?

I’ve had a fascinating journey. I don’t regret doing any films. My films may not have done exceptional business or been blockbusters, but I was fortunate enough to be accepted by the public who are my true critics. I have worked with reputed directors and banners.

I think in my case the films have gone wrong. I have been lucky to be appreciated for my performances. But I realise that (performance) is not enough; the film has to work.

Despite the films not doing well, I am still here and it feels great.

Now I am focusing on commercially viable films. 


Image: Riteish Deshmukh, Aftab Shivdasani and Vivek Oberoi in Grand Masti

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