Genelia: Riteish and I are very lucky that we lasted
He is an actor with superb comic timing and she is an actress who has done films in five different languages.
After hiding their relationship for years, Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D'Souza are all excited about tying the knot on February 3.
The couple, who will be seen together in a film called Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, opened up to Sonil Dedhia about their love and relationship.
Both of you started your careers at the same time with Tujhe Meri Kasam in 2003.
Riteish: It is like life has come a full circle after eight years. The wonderful part is that you know a person from your first film. Today, Genelia is a competent actor. She's a different person and I think that's wonderful.
Knowing someone inside out doesn't mean I know everything. Like, I know how she will react to a certain thing, but she will do something totally different.
She always keeps me on my toes. She kicks my ass!
Genelia: It feels good that we started our careers together. My single status also ended with him (Laughs). I knew Riteish as a friend and when we started our careers we were looking out for an opportunity.
When we did our first film Tujhe Meri Kasam, we knew nothing about acting and today we have grown so much and have become responsible actors.
Image: A scene from Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya
Genelia: Riteish completes me
Riteish: Strangely, I have never thought about it. I was just happy being with her. My journey began with her and as actors and people we grew together and it has made us what we are today.
I feel that once you find a person whom you truly think you can be with, then that commitment is for a lifetime
Genelia: It's something that just happens as you start realising that you complete each other. I feel everyone has an incomplete part and there is someone who completes you.
We started as good friends and we have come a long way. We then started concentrating on our careers. The good part is that we never lost our friendship.
Image: Genelia D'Souza and Riteish Deshmukh
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
Genelia: I always tell Riteish that he is a charmer
Genelia: It's been a mutual decision.
Riteish: Do I need to pop the question? I guess it's an arranged marriage, isn't it? (Laughs).
What is the one thing you like about each other?
Riteish Deshmukh: I like her smile, and more than that, her energy. She is always vibrant and full of energy. Strangely, we worked together in our first film not knowing anything about filmmaking. She started working down south and I started working with different directors.
Genelia D'Souza: What I like about him is that we have never had a communication gap. We have never fought with each other. We have always been very mature in our relationship.
I always tell Riteish that he is a charmer. He has this gift of charming people, which I enjoy. I also like him because he respects women and respects their work.
He has never tried to change me as an individual. He really stabilises our relationship.
Image: Genelia D'Souza and Riteish Deshmukh
Riteish: I was just happy being with her
Was it important to keep your relationship a secret?
Riteish: I was a bird who was happy sitting on one tree. (Laughs)
Both of us have been private about our relationship. We tried to give dignity to our relationship in the privacy that we maintained. We thought that would be the best thing to do.
We have now taken a decision to commit to each other for a lifetime. I think it is an exciting phase.
We are very private individuals. Today, that comfort level is going an extra step ahead with a commitment of lifetime
Genelia: It's been a growth process for both of us. I feel we are very lucky that we have lasted through this journey.
We have given our relationship dignity by guarding it as everyone likes to guard their personal life.
We are very similar and both of us are in a zone where we both don't want to get any unnecessary attention towards our relationship.
Image: Genelia D'Souza and Reitesh Deshmukh
Riteish: Genelia is a better actor than me
Who is the better actor?
Genelia: Riteish has the gift of the gab. He can change a scene in no time. He will let you be the heart of the scene and not every actor lets you do that.
He makes working fun. He comes up with these funny lines at the awards shows all the time and I would always think that he is following his script, but now I know it's a talent and he creates those lines on the spur of the moment.
Riteish: I think Genelia is a better actor than I am.
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Image: Reitesh Deshmukh and Genelia D'Souza