Riteish Deshmukh: Humshakals was physically challenging
'Ram Gopal Varma is the only director, who did not give me a comedy film ever. But when a genre or a film doesn’t work, you fall back on the genre that clicked for the actor. I did it too. I started doing only comedy films.'
Riteish Deshmukh, in a candid chat.
Riteish Deshmukh claims he's bored of doing comedy movies, and then goes ahead and stars in perhaps the worst comedy of his career in Humshakals.
But the actor has better work coming up. He will be seen in a negative role in Ek Villain, and followed by the action-packed Marathi film Lai Bhaari.
In this conversation with Sonil Dedhia, Riteish talks about his movies, and much more.
Your wife Genelia D’Souza is pregnant. How excited is everyone at home?
We all are really happy. Genelia and I are really excited.
You are an interesting phase of your career, with three releases lined up -- Humshakals, Ek Villain and Lai Bhaari, all of which are very different from each other.
There are certain things you don’t think too much about; you do what feels right at that point of time.
I wanted to produce films. The opportunity to produce Marathi films came my way so I did it. We produced Balak Palak, which thankfully clicked. People really liked it for its uniqueness. No such film has been made in Hindi.
The next film I produced was Yellow, which again was a unique subject. It won the National Award.
The third film, Lai Bhaari, in which I am acting as well, comes around the same time as Humshakals and Ek Villain.
It seems everything happened together. I wanted Lai Bhaari to release in January, Ek Villain in April and Humshakals in June, but it did not happen that way.
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Image: Riteish Deshmukh
'We pushed the limits too far with Grand Masti'
You had said you wouldn’t be doing comedies, especially sex comedies. Did you agree to do Humshakals only because Sajid Khan directed it?
I think I was misquoted. What I meant was that I don’t have anything left to offer in the sex comedy genre.
We pushed the limits too far with Grand Masti, not knowing whether people will like it or not. But our country is amazing; it shocks you at times (laughs).
There are four or five different ways of doing such a comedy. So now I will do something that is naughty, exciting and can be enjoyed by adults. But in this current sex comedy format, there is nothing more to offer.
I would have definitely done Humshakals under any circumstances.
Yes, I am also keen on doing some straight-faced humour where one is not trying to make people laugh.
I am doing a spoof-satire with Bangistaan for which I am currently shooting.
The promos of Humshakals show you doing some amazing mimicry of legendary actors. Are you fond of doing mimicry?
Samaaj ne mujhe aisa bana diya, warna main aisa nahi tha (The society has made me this way because I wasn't like this). (laughs)
Jokes apart, if you observe, these are not imitations of those great people. These are bad imitations of people doing bad imitations.
When you mimic, you pick two or three traits and then exaggerate them.
Like 'woooow' has become synonymous with Saif, or 'aaaaye' with Shah Rukh Khan. So I will not call them caricatures but just well defined exaggerations.
Image: Movie poster of Grand Masti
'Ek Villain was a scary change'
Your character in Ek Villain looks like it is very different from anything you have done before.
Ek Villain was a scary change. I did not know if I would fit in but the reactions have been positive so far.
It’s the darkest form of evil, so I decided to give it a shot. Ek Villain was mentally more taxing.
Humshakals was physically challenging, as one of the three roles I am playing is of a mad guy. It requires more energy to play a loud character.
Director Mohit Suri said that he cast you in Ek Villain because you have a face people can relate to.
One needs to fit the part in the film. I am glad that Mohit thought of me for this film.
I have never done something like this. It is the darkest thing a human can ever be. I thought of giving it a chance. I wanted to see myself like this at least once.
Image: Riteish Deshmukh in Ek Villain
'I would love to see Govinda in a negative role'
It took you a little while to get back to doing serious roles. Was it because your previous films like Rann and Darna Zaroori Hai did not do well?
Yes, you are right. Rann, Darna Zaroori Hai and even Naach were a failure. Ram Gopal Varma directed all these films. He is the only director who did not give me a comedy film ever.
I am glad that those films happened. When a genre or a film doesn’t work, you fall back on the genre that clicked for the actor.
I did it too. I started doing only comedy films.
But things have changed now. It is an exciting time to be in the industry as filmmakers are going for off casting.
I would love to see Govinda in a negative role.
Image: Riteish Deshmukh in Ek Villain
'The action entertainer is the most commercial genre all over'
The first trailer of your Marathi film Lai Bhaari has had a positive response.
Two things are important: the promo needs to be good, and as an actor, I must get a chance to do something different.
I have been fortunate to work with three wonderful directors this year (referring to Sajid Khan, Mohit Suri and Nishikant Kamath) in three different genres and all the films are equally exciting.
Couldn’t you have made it in Hindi too?
Yes, we could have but being Maharashtrian, both of us wanted to make it in Marathi.
We could have done a cut-paste and that’s easy. But that would have diluted the fact that it is a Marathi film. So it was a conscious decision.
Lai Bhaari is an unabashed action entertainer, a genre missing in Marathi cinema. Is that why you produced it?
The action entertainer is the most commercial genre all over.
Ram Gopal Varma had told me some years ago that the Marathi film industry doesn’t have heroes.
What he meant was that heroes are created by stories. In Marathi cinema, only content works. But things are changing now. I thought the genre wasn’t done in Marathi films so I decided to make it.
Image: Movie poster of Lai Bhaari