Actor Riteish Deshmukh says to get the look of a musician right, he took inspiration from tabla maestro Zakir Hussain. The 37-year-old actor is playing a banjo player in his upcoming film of the same name and for him, it was tough to understand the musical instrument.
“When it comes to understanding banjo, the instrument, it was really tough. I learned the technique from the professional guys and then adapted it to the style of the character which was a big task. I had to stand and play which people usually don’t.
“I kept Zakir Hussain sir somewhere in mind while playing the character. I have not copied him as he is too huge for that. But, the way he feels the music was an inspiration,” Riteish said during a group interview.
Banjo revolves around a band, struggling for its existence until a girl from New York comes with a desire to promote their talent. The actor feels the reason for the downfall of street artistes is technology.
“Technology is the reason why street forms are losing their worth. Keyboards took the place of the banjo. And now with DJs coming in even the keyboards are gone. I have heard DJs play and I have heard live, the way live sounds is altogether different. Their energy is different.”
The movie marks the Hindi directorial debut of National-award winning Marathi director Ravi Jadhav. Riteish believes the movie may represent one group of artists, but the issues raised are faced by each and every street artist.
“‘Banjo’ represents the street artists to some extent. It talks about the issues they face. It is based on a particular type of street art but the issues these artists face are the same. The movie shows that if the artists are given the right platform they can achieve great heights,” he said.
The film stars Nargis Fakhri as the female lead and is being compared to her debut movie Rockstar, but for Riteish, the only similarity between the two films is that they both are about music.
“People are comparing ‘Banjo’ with ‘Rockstar’ just because both are musical. The genre and zone may be same, but the journeys are different.”
Riteish has been seen sporting a beard and long hair during the promotion of the film. The actor said his current look is for the test shoot of two new projects. Banjo releases this Friday. PTI