Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘ham

Teammates Jimmy Moses and Tina Dutta claim Harsh Chhaya’s poor performance is the reason why they were eliminated from Comedy Circus; Harsh trades insult for insult

By Sonali Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 24, 2009)


As if being eliminated from a reality show wasn’t bad enough, actor Harsh Chhaya is facing his teammates’ wrath too. Harsh, who is a part of Comedy Circus, was eliminated from the show on November 17 along with teammates, Uttaran actress Tina Dutta and stand-up comedian Jimmy Moses.

Tina and Jimmy allege that had Harsh performed better, they would still be competing in the show.

Explaining why they were eliminated, Jimmy says, “Tina was a good performer and Harsh started off well too but then his performance slackened. He could not devote the required time to rehearse our acts. His ‘I am a big actor, I will not rehearse’ attitude became apparent gradually. Tina is a part of a popular serial too but she always had time for rehearsals.”

Tina says, “As a team, we definitely could have done with more rehearsing. There was lack of communication between us and our viewpoints were always different. Harshji was pretty good initially but later his act left much to be desired.”

Jimmy adds, “Harsh got confused. This often happens when an actor tries his hand at stand-up comedy. Confusion mein phir problem ho jata hai. They are celebrities while we do stand-up comedy. We know when to throw in the extra punch essential in comic acts. But in Harsh’s case, he is a good actor so he couldn’t ham. This is precisely why his performance was always underplayed. Ye karte karte ego problem ho jata hai. Ye acting ka khel nahi hai, ye comedy hai.”

 

Harsh Chhaya, Tinna Dutta and Jimmy Moses


Harsh, on the other hand, says, “My work, and Jimmy and Tina’s work is there for all to see. I do not see the need to defend myself. Woh ladki (Tina) ki mere saamne khade rehne ki aukaad nahi hai, woh kya baat karegi mere bare mein? She doesn’t even know Hindi properly and cannot speak even one line without stammering. I’ve been acting since the last decade and this girl thinks she is better than me?”

Referring to Uttaran, Harsh adds, “This is what daily shows do… they pick up any girl and make her the lead actress. This girl can’t act to save her life. She doesn’t even know Hindi. I do not see the need to react to what a stupid girl, who cannot speak without stuttering, has to say about me. Don’t even get me started on her supposed talent as an actor. Jimmy is a good stand-up comedian but he needs to work on his acting. As for me, working with two other people as a team is a new thing. I need to learn to adjust.”

Ritesh Deshmukh has worked his way up slowly from a five-hero film, to four, three, two and now as a solo hero. He has impressed everyone with his comic timing and hopes to continue to do so with a fantasy (Aladin), a serious film (Rann) and a romance (Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai)

By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 29, 2009)

What gives you a high? When a family member wins an election or when you have a film doing well?

Undoubtedly, when a family member wins an election. That’s because much more is at stake in politics and it’s a once-in-a-five-year event. As an actor, you get three to four chances a year, but in politics you have to wait for five years for another chance.

If you had three wishes, what would they be?

 

If I have a lamp that Amitabh Bachchan comes out of as a genie, I don’t think I want anything else. That itself is worth three wishes.

 

Will you ever play a woman again as you so successfully did in Apna Sapna…

It was very difficult playing a woman but if I got a lot of time to work on it, I would like to play it differently. I would really like to do it the way Hollywood does it, with prosthetics. If the script demands it, then I would push the envelope. The last time it was just about waxing and threading, this time I would do it better.

Your successes have largely been as a comic actor. Did you find comedy or did comedy find you?

What happened is that a few comedies that I did worked and then only comedies came my way. But, after doing comedies I have become funny in real life too. I’ve enjoyed doing them. And it’s even more enjoyable when people like your work. It’s like a pat on the back. But then there’s also a fear of overdoing it and it’s important to realise when you’ve crossed the line. When I read a comic script, I know that these are the scenes where I am supposed to ham and so I see to it that in a scene before and a scene after I underplay it.

What do you mean when you say that after doing comedies, you have become funny in real life?

Actually, the basic core of me is very shy, because that’s how I’ve been brought up. I was so shy, I didn’t speak to a single girl all through my school days. So at birthday parties at home, there would be only boys. We’re only three brothers. So the thought of a girl coming home was very odd. No one ever told us, it was all in our head. In college, I used to like this girl and I never had the courage to go up to her and tell her that I liked her. And by the time I decided to do that, she had already started seeing someone else. But I was just happy with the idea of being in love with her.

When I went to architecture college, probably because there were 28 women and 16 boys, and a lot of group projects, I really opened up as a person. I was funny in bits but I didn’t have the courage to just go up on stage and say something funny. But when you become an actor, you become shameless. And to be a good actor, you need to be very shameless. You really need to do anything and everything. That shattered all my inhibitions.

To have come from there and worked in so many comedies, I now know exactly how comedies work. I know exactly when to put in a punchline, which words to stress to make people laugh. And I think that eventually helped me in my personal life.

Do you feel like an outsider in the film industry?

For the first two years, I didn’t feel like a part of the industry in my own head. I had not achieved anything. It was not about how people reacted to me. It was about my own achievements. It was only after Masti was successful, Kya Kool Hai Hum and Bluffmaster worked and just before Heyy Babyy, Dhammal, and Apna Sapna Money Money, that I felt that I was a decent actor and could find my foothold in the industry. Then I stopped feeling like an outsider.

You’ve always been a big fan of SRK. If offered, which of his films would you do for free?

I would do a film for free, if he were in the film. I really don’t care what films he’s done because those films are not special without SRK. If I were to do those films, they wouldn’t be that great.

Is Genelia the woman in your life?

Not again! I am single. I am not seeing Genelia. We go back seven years, ever since we started working together. I’m glad to have a great friendship with her, she’s a wonderful person. The sad part is that sometimes you start pulling back from a friendship because people are talking. But as an actor, you learn to live with it.

Are you looking for love?

I am not exactly looking for love. Love is something that everyone wants, everyone needs, and love is most welcome. But it’s not necessary that if I find love, I’ll talk about it. I see couples out there holding hands, and it’s really great. Many-a-times, I wish I had that courage.

Nagesh Kukunoor’s films have been a yo-yo of genres. For every Teen Deewaarein, Iqbal and Dor, he has made Bollywood Calling, Bombay to Bangkok and 8×10 Tasveer. What makes him tick?
By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 24, 2009)
You were the poster boy of new age, low budget cinema. What happened to you?

I love this mantle that was thrust on me but seriously I always made films according to the situation I was in. When I was starting out, I knew no one would give me a film so I took all my savings and made a film. After that film was successful, had I played the Bollywood game, and accepted the offers to do urban romantic comedies, I could have immediately leapt up to a three or four crore film. But I chose to write a semi-biographical film (Rockford) about a boy in a boarding school. I made the film in the money I could raise at that time which was about Rs 65 lakhs. My films have always been about what I could muster at that point of time.

In the last two years, I made four features back to back, Bombay to Bangkok followed by Aashayein followed by 8X 10 followed by Yeh Hausla. Now to answer your question, Bombay to Bangkok was a very small budget romantic comedy, Aashayein was an emotionally fulfilling drama, 8X10 was a big action pic, Yeh Hausla, about five women is back to a small film in Rajasthan. So I have never played the game of ‘Ok, I have done an 8X10, now I will not do small features.’ It has to make sense in terms of budget, the economics of course, but also where I am in life. If I can muster a Rs 30 crore film, I will do a Rs 30 crore film. But if I have a script that needs a small budget, I will do that. I have never played by the rules.How can somebody who makes Iqbal and Dor also make Bombay to Bangkok? What exactly is your sensibility?

It’s what I feel about the genre that I am writing. There is no pattern. I want to make films that I believe in, that I am passionate about. After doing Iqbal and Dor, I really wanted to write this wacky comedy Bombay to Bangkok. The problem is the baggage that an Iqbal and a Dor carry. The Indian audience is very much about they-like-this-about-actors, they-like-this-about-directors, about seeing them in the same repetitive pattern. If I have defined my filmography by not sticking to a pattern, I am not going to change now because I have been more successful with one genre.

The process of filmmaking has to be as much fun for me as it is for the audience. I will make the film for myself first. I have to enjoy the process. When I think I do that, I serve the audience. The basic thing that was taught to me when I was learning theatre, was to ‘serve the audience, serve the play’. This doesn’t mean ‘cater to the audience’. In order to serve the audience and serve the play, the best way is to pour your passion into what you are doing, what you believe in.

The beauty about art is you don’t know how it is going to impact the audience or the viewer till after its done. The one lesson that I learnt early in the game, is that there is no right way to do anything. And here is the irony of the business; there are no lessons to be learnt. Experts will say this is not the season to make a romantic comedy and then a romantic comedy will just blitz the box-office, then everybody will be mmm…

Do you agree that Iqbal may be your best film so far?

No. It was a film that exactly touched a chord with the audiences. It goes to show you how ridiculous this field is because Iqbal was originally about Malkhamb and every producer I pitched this to, was unpleasantly surprised. The moment I switched over to cricket, it touched a chord. Everyone went bonkers. I know how much effort it took to make Iqbal and I know how much effort it took to make Bombay to Bangkok. I shot 18 hours a day. I was doing two locations, three location shifts a day. So the amount of effort I poured into it was the same. One story struck home and one story completely bypassed everyone. As a filmmaker, there was the same set of rules, the same amount of dedication, the same shot breakdown, and the same madness. It’s impossible to judge what is good work and what is bad work. All you know is sometimes it works with the audience and sometimes it doesn’t.

Will Aashayein ever release?

Thanks to the strike, our plan went for a toss. We thought we would release it in September. Now I think we are going to wait till November because there are so many big films, that Percept is not sure where to push this in. So I am in the dark.

You are again venturing the path less tread with the woman centric Yeh Hausla…

(laughs) As a matter of fact, after I did Iqbal, when I did Dor, it was a challenge. People said ‘Are you mad, why are you doing a woman centric film?’ Then post Dor, people asked me ‘When you make such sensitive films about women, why don’t you make such films more often?’ If a story is good and it grabs you, even hardcore men who had to be dragged to Dor because it was a chick flick, didn’t complain. Within the framework of a film, whether you like it or not, a director will push his or her philosophy, but as long as it comes presented in a wrapping of a good story, it will be appreciated. For me that’s most important. And it’s the same with Yeh Hausla.

So when are you making your next big actor film?

I don’t know, it could be soon. There are a lot of conversations that have been happening. At any given time I have a bank of scripts; I just keep writing them. So my immediate next one could be an action pic or it could be really really small romantic film.

What happened to your very pronounced American accent?

(laughs) I can bring it back in one half second. But I have worked pretty hard at being non-standing out, if there is such a phrase.

I personally think you are a lousy actor…

(laughs) Thank you.

…are you going to act in all your films?

I have never cast myself in a role that I felt I will not be able to do. Usually it’s the smaller roles, barring Hyderabad Blues where I played the lead. However in Teen Deewarein, I truly enjoyed playing Naagia, the Hyderabadi character. But again it was the lesser role. Unfortunately, here, the ham quotient is very high. I can ham but I won’t. May be if I ham will be a better actor. (laughs aloud)