Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘outsider

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.

While bad boys like Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt had the industry rooting for them, an outsider like Shiney doesn’t stand a chance
By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; June 17, 2009)
Even as the film industry makes appropriate noises over the Shiney Ahuja rape incident and closes ranks against any outsider who dares to breach their gates, cocktail conversations reveal very little sympathy for the man. In private conversations, once the mikes and cameras have been switched off, antagonism against the actor rears its ugly head as co-stars and directors recall how the upstart actor often rubbed them the wrong way with unsought for suggestions.

Which is really strange when you consider the amount of sustained goodwill for the industry’s notorious bad boys Salman Khan (charged with poaching and culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and Sanjay Dutt (charged with illegal possession of arms and terrorism) when they were taken in for questioning. Even Fardeen Khan, who was arrested for drug possession, came out smelling of roses.

I still remember when Sanjay was released on bail for the first time after many months in jail and he was brought straight to a very well attended press conference which had been so publicised before it happened that hundreds of people lined the roads near the venue to look at him. Fans flocked to him like a born-again messiah and hardened journalists had tears in their eyes when he spoke of the love he felt for us and all his countrymen and how he would never do anything to endanger us.

In a notoriously nepotistic industry, Shiney is an outsider. That he is a brilliant actor who wowed critics with his first film Hazaron Khwaishein Aisi and followed it up with Gangster, Woh Lamhe and Life in a Metro notwithstanding, he is not liked. While there has never been even a hint of impropriety in his dealings with his female co-stars, there has been no back-slapping either. In all his years in the film industry I don’t recall one instance when Shiney either attended a non-work-related party or threw one.

Then there is the matter of success. Salman and Sanjay are hugely successful stars, Salman, in fact, gave hits all through his confinement.  Shiney has barely scaled a few rungs of the ladder and when his only mainstream film Bhool Bhulaiya was declared a success, the credit went to his much bigger co-star Akshay Kumar and the Hare Ram song. Success breeds respect, success breeds love and success breeds sympathy and Shiney has none of these.

Not surprisingly then it is being widely speculated that whatever decision the law takes, Shiney will find it tough to resurrect his career. And honestly, no one particularly cares one way or the other. While Bhai (Salman) and Baba (Sanjay) had the entire industry rooting for them, the sun has set on Shiney’s career.