The trailer of Marjaavaan released on Thursday features actor Riteish Deshmukh playing a vertically challenged, negative character.
Talking about his character in the Milap Zaveri directorial, Riteish said, “Milap and I have a long association. Every time there has been a shift in my career, it has happened because of his writing. Be it Masti, Ek Villain and now I got an opportunity to be a vertically challenged man. Very few get this opportunity so I want to thank Milap.”
On being asked if he was inspired by Kamal Haasan’s Appu Raja and if he took any reference points from the film, the actor said, “Kamal Haasan sahab’s performance, greatness is beyond any technology. When we were doing it, of course, I would wonder looking at other actors – ‘how did they do it?’ But fortunately, technology helps in the ‘khaamiya’ (flaws) I have as an actor. The VFX helped greatly. I just did one shot five times. It wasn’t that difficult (chuckles).”
Later, the Masti actor was asked by a journalist how he justifies portraying the role of a vertically challenged character when there is a lack of representation in Hindi films.
Riteish Deshmukh said, “I respect your viewpoint. As an actor when someone has approached me with a role, my job is only to see whether I’ll be able to pull it off and if the directors and the producers have the confidence whether I’ll be able to do justice to what’s offered to me. As an actor, I am ready to play anything, be it a vertically challenged person, old person, young person or a woman also. I have played everything. As an actor, I am open to anything.”
Director Milap Zaveri elaborated on the same and said, “While I feel your question is valid, if Mr Anpuam Kher, who is such a great actor, hadn’t played a character older than himself in Saaransh, maybe we wouldn’t have had Anupam Kher ji. Similarly, there are so many great actors who play different roles. Ayushmann in Dream Girl played a person who they all think is a girl. I just think that eventually, while everyone should get an opportunity to act and perform, it’s also equally fair that actors get a chance to experiment. In Saand Ki Aankh, I think it’s superb the way Taapsee and Bhumi have done their parts. It’s great that actors are taking challenges and coming out of their comfort zone. Writers are writing, directors are making, producers are willing to do such things. I guess what matters is who fits the role. I just knew I needed someone like him because of the wickedness, the humour and the performance. That’s why I approached him.”
Marjaavaan, also starring Sidharth Malhotra, Tara Sutaria and Rakul Preet, will release on November 8.