Start talking about being a stall wart in Adult Comedy and Riteish Deshmukh looks right back at me with a straight face. He says, I want to drown the torch that I have been bearing in this genre and has a laugh about it. You cannot take all this seriously. He is fun, cracks jokes, and is absolutely crazy. Riteish Deshmukh talks to the team of India Forums in an exclusive interview. Excerpts:
It took quite a long time to come up with the sequel of Masti...
We were in the process of writing the film and finding the correct script. It takes time sometimes. When the film was being written, we realised that Kya Kool Hain Hum had just come that time, then Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum came. I even did Dhamaal and Double Dhamaal in the middle as well. So we were thinking how to take the film forward in terms of humour. When the decision to take up Masti 2 came, the question was, how should it be? Which all films have been made in this genre. I was shooting Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum that time. That film itself had a lot of humour, so when Grand Masti should come it should surpass the level of humour in that film was the thinking of the writers of the film. In this film, the dialogues that have been written have visual adult humour. So it has surpassed everything.
Be it Masti, Kya Kool Hain Hum, Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum or Grand Masti, you have been the torch bearer of this genre, but still you are an actor for a family audience. How do you maintain this balance?
Its an art. ( Wink) It is a very tricky thing when you do an adult comedy. Thankfully the tag of the supposed 'Adult Comedy Actor' has not come on to me because my other films have been bigger successes than these films. Be it Heyy Babyy, Housefull, Housefull 2, Dhamaal. But the basic thing is that I have maintained that whenever an actor is stepping into this kind of genre, he needs to be innocent. He needs to be the victim of the situation. He cannot be over powering a situation and trying to be slightly cocky about it. He shouldn't mean what he says. He should be sorry that he has caught in the situation where things are happening. So the audience should feel sorry for that person and the situation should be funny to evoke laughter.
Why do you think the genre of Adult Comedy has not caught on in India?
I think because people don't know how to do it right. It is not an easy genre. So if Grand Masti is accepted by the people then it could open doors for people to try out films in this genre. This is a very untapped genre. In Hollywood it's quite huge and that's the kind of potential even that genre can have.
Did you have any problem with the Censor Board Of India?
No. I mean, whatever they thought supposed to be cut off or was over the top, they cut it. Whatever things they thought was okay, the audience is going to watch it.
In of the interviews, you said that all of you were performing a scene and your wives were sitting infront of you. So how difficult or easy is it to perform Grand Masti in front of the wives?
See, whatever I am doing I am doing infront of you and not behind your back. So that was my alibi. But they were like, What are you guys doing? ( Laughs)
What does it take to produce good comedy on screen?
A good script. I always say this, we actors are just the medium. It is easy to perform a good scene and when the scene is not funny, it takes alot to make it funny. Sometimes we fail because the audience says that you're trying too hard to be funny. But you're not trying too hard to be funny, its just that the scene was not written well. If the scene is written very well and the actor just has to cope up with it and say the lines with the correct timing, then it becomes hilarious.
How is your bond with your director, Indra Kumar?
I think he is one of the youngest people I have met, in terms of sense of humour, understanding. It becomes very easy otherwise if he would have taken himself too seriously then I don't think this bond would have been this strong. I can actually go and jump on him, make him dance. I think i have the right to do that because of the comfort level I share with him. In comedy, comfort level is the key for confidence. Once you're comfortable and you're confident with what you're doing then I think you can do a scene better.
You have done films. have been a part of a TV show, and have even turned into a producer. Which part have you enjoyed the most?
Primarily I enjoy films. I am really enjoying the space that I am in while producing and television for me is a break. No pressure. I go there, have fun, I get entertained.
Your film Baalak Palak was a big hit, any plans of taking it forward?
Well, Sometimes I think that if we can make it in Hindi. I am doing another Marathi film called Lai Bhari. It is directed by Nishikant Kamat. We are trying to explore a genre which has not been explored in Marathi scenario. It is an out and out action drama. I am acting in it as well as producing the film. It will release in Dec-Jan.
Salman Khan is a part of the film, kindly spill the beans...
He wanted to be part of the film. He messaged me saying, Hi! What are you doing? Chalo, give me a role. I was like, how will I give you a role? But, he is extremely gracious and a very dear friend. and for him to himself come up and ask for a role, be part of the film, is something that a person will always remember. This gesture cannot be forgotten. He is a very special person.
Marathi Cinema has suddenly taken a upswing. What do you think is the reason for it?
Earlier youth was not going to watch Marathi films, they were watched by senior people, more refined cinema goers that catered to senior or mid age people. But the youth was not going to see the film and they were shifting to Hindi films. But to capture youth in a native language, its a big market. The thing that led to this capture is how you pitch in a film, how you promote a film. Its a fun film and it did some 20 crores, in a Marathi space. There are alot of HIndi films which don't do a lifetime of 20 crores all over India. I hope and pray that in the years to come, there are atleast 3 films that do a 20 crore.
Do you think social networking sites like Twitter have become a very important reason for the word of mouth publicity for any film that is not a larger than life big budget film? Do you think trends, tweets and retweets matter?
There have been films that have trended with great reviews but box office wise they have not done well. So it is not necessary that it always helps. There have been films that have been panned on twitter and have been great at the box office and there have been films that because the trending has been so good that they have sustained, sustained and continued. Larger perspective, social media definitely helps but not necessarily every film that is trending might do well. Discussion is one thing and that discussion to translate into tickets to watch the film is another thing.
Will Riteish be seen in an out-n-out action thriller flaunting the uber cool six packs?
Well, 4 more to go...As soon as they are ready. The Marathi film is a hardcore action film, but a Hindi action film, well something interesting is coming up for all you guys.