December 3, 2002 
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Fardeen Khan
'I'm short on luck but why should I give up?'
Fardeen Khan hopes to click with the audience in Khushi and Jaanasheen

Even this will pass. There is light at the end of every dark tunnel," declares a contemplative Fardeen Khan.

You could not have seen him in more than a few average films that did nothing much to set the box-office on fire.

Son of Bollywood filmmaker Feroz Khan, Fardeen recently had a brush with the law, for possessing cocaine. He then had a couple of duds in Hum Ho Gaye Aapke, Kitne Door Kitne Paas, Kuch Tu Kaho Kuch Hum Kahein and Om Jai Jagadish.

Vickey Lalwani met the actor with his smile intact, his mood optimistic. The reason? His upcoming films Khushi and Jaanasheen. Khushi is a remake of S J Suryah's Tamil and Telugu films with the same name. Both versions proved popular. Now, producer Boney Kapoor, director Suryah, Fardeen, and Kareena Kapoor hope to cast the same magic at the Bollywood BO.

Jaanasheen is Feroz Khan's production, starring Fardeen, former Femina Miss India Celina Jaitley and Feroz himself in a negative role. Over to Fardeen:

In the film world, you are still considered not happening. Why do you think your career has not taken wing?

Today, your career depends entirely on the commercial success of your films. Terrible films have run to packed houses. Unfortunately, most of my films have not.

So, I have been short on luck. Besides, I admit I have failed to meet the audience expectations.

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But why should I give up? We all mistakes and learn as we live, and I am no exception.

What is the mantra of your patience?

My next two releases, Khushi and Jaanasheen. They are excellent films --- I am not bragging.

Tell us about both. How did Khushi happen?

Eighteen months ago, I saw the preview of the Tamil version of Khushi, which starred Vijay and Jyotika. I was floored.

Someone told me Boney Kapoor had purchased the film's rights and was planning to make it in Hindi. I contacted Boney Kapor and told him bluntly that I wanted to be part of the Hindi version.

My character, Karan is from Kolkata, though we shot many portions in Mumbai, Hyderabad, and some song sequences in America as well. Karan is a very happy-go-lucky guy, a positive person who lives for the present. His attitude is, Live, laugh and learn.

At the same time, he has a big ego. And that comes in the way of his love life. In Khushi, I will be seen in a new light in terms of versatility and commitment.

Fardeen Khan has always been associated with style and fashion. Will Khushi see you in the same light?

No. In Khushi, I am dressed contemporary, typical of a college student. Nothing new, no trendsetting stuff.

Fardeen Khan Did you feel nervous, considering that the Tamil and Telugu heroes of Khushi won raves for their performances?

Suryah is extremely talented. He held my hand, made me walk through this role. Having directed both the South Indian versions, he knew exactly what he was doing. So except for an occasion or two, I didn't have to refer to the Tamil and Telugu characters. So I didn't feel any pressure at all.

How important is Khushi to your career?

Every film is important for me. But considering that my earlier films have bombed badly, [the fate of] Khushi assumes greater importance.

How was it working with Kareena Kapoor?

We had a great time. We were extremely comfortable with each other and have become very good friends. I hope we will become the next new star pair.

How is Jaanasheen progressing?

It's fast nearing completion. I play a rugged character who wants to be a biking world champion. Nothing fazes him, in spite of the challenges he faces.

It's a typical Feroz Khan film high gloss, fast music, deadly action and passionate romance. The climax of the film which involves a bike race, is just out of the world. Parts of this breathtaking climax have been shot in Australia. We intend to go there soon to shoot some unfinished portions.

We were actually supposed to leave for Australia in November, but an amateur race which I was part of got delayed. So our programme fell back in turn. The film is now due in April.

Are you apprehensive about being overshadowed by your father in Jaanasheen?

My father plays the villain. Dad has given himself a new look and a new image. It's a larger-than-life, flamboyant character. So there's always a chance of being overshadowed (laughs).

But it's okay. He has given me a great role as someone who stands up against him in most frames.

Was it easy working under your dad?

Easy? It was absolute fun. As a director, he is an actor's delight. More important, he is a jolly man who lives life to the fullest. No one can have any problem with him.

There is buzz about your marriage with your girlfriend Ruheen...

Marriage is a big responsibility. You have to really work at it to make it work. The day I feel I am ready for that responsibility, I'll tie the knot.

Meanwhile, I will continue acting, and later get into producing and directing films.


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