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What’s AGE got to do with IT?

A younger-looking Govinda is back on screen,with Naughty@40.

Written by Namita Nivas | Mumbai |
April 22, 2011 6:39:38 pm

A younger-looking Govinda is back on screen,with Naughty@40.

Naughty@40 is finally releasing on April 29 following the green signal from the High Court.
We are glad that the crisis is finally over. The producer,Anuj Sharma,had to face some problems with his associates. Yes,the film did take almost two years to complete. But now everything is sorted out.

Is it true that it is a remake of the English film,40-Year Old Virgin?
No,it is not true,director Jagmohan Mundhra has taken the concept from an old Hindi film. Though the thought may be old,Naughty@40 is a totally fresh movie. In fact,it is Ravi Chopra’s film Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai that is a remake of My Cousin Vinny,for which Raviji has the rights.

How was it being cast opposite very young girls?
Though I am playing a character of a 40-year-old guy,working with young girls was not a problem. I personally had no qualms (Chuckles). What is different here is of his approach towards the girls. The way he wants to convey his love is very fresh.

But haven’t you done such kinds of lovey-dovey roles earlier too?
That is right. But when you get to work with an international director like Jagmohan Mundhra,everything changes –– right from the look of the film to the way an actor acts in it to the way the movie has been made for the viewer. He has shown London like never before. The look of the film is very international.

Like many,you too can now proudly claim to have worked with an international director.
Yes (Laughs). In fact,I have always wanted to work in this kind of an atmosphere. I have seen immense success and won praise for years,yet I always felt that there was something lacking in my career. When I saw Naughty@40 I felt it has all that I wanted in my film,right from my character to the look to its international feel.

How would you rate Jagmohan Mundhra as the director?
Mundhra is too good. According to me,he has gone all out and given his best.

But he does not have a very good record as a filmmaker.
I have never checked records before doing any film. When I did Dulhe Raja,my last film Kismet with Harmesh Malhotra was a flop. People told me not to do the comedy but I did it and it was a success. My aim is to see that people enjoy my films. Its subject and screenplay is the director’s job. We actors have to ensure that people enjoy when they come to the theatres.

You have three young girls in the film.
(Laughs) Yes and they were all very good actors. Yuvika Chaudhary,Sayali Bhagat and the English girl Lucia Gilbert have performed very well.

While doing the film,were you really at your naughtiest?

I think for my kind of my image and lifestyle,there is no harm in having a little fun at times. I feel once a person crosses 40,thodasa zyaada hans le aur mazaa karen to bahut accha hai. This has been ingrained into my system and so I enjoyed doing this character. Every person is after something in life and a time comes when he is not behaving his age.

Do you have any memorable incidents of the film?
The entire film was fun and enjoyable. I never felt that I was working. My character is basically a frustrated guy who is always irritated about things. Situations lead to many funny things and that kept us in splits while shooting. I watched the film and was surprised to see how good it has turned out.

After Raavan,you lost a lot of weight. Was it a deliberate move?
In fact,it was since the time I said goodbye to politics,for good,that I lost about eight kilos. I do yoga,eat once a day,and work out regularly. In short I do everything that one needs to do keep fit. So here I am,all slim and trim.

You mean to say it was not entirely for films.
I was doing very well in films with all that weight. I did not give any thought to fitness or diet then. Actually for me,success was more important than weight at that time. Partner was a big success and I weighed 94 kilos then. The decision to lose weight was because I realised that for any kind of work,fitness is very important. This thought may have come now,but better late than never.

With so many youngsters now ruling the roost,one has to become more conscious of his looks as well. Would you agree?
I do not look at it as competition because then one loses enthusiasm and confidence. I feel it is very important to look at your own self,your own work and keeping improving. Khud ki duniya se baahar hi nahin nikalna chahiye. And even if you look into the outside world,accept only the good things from it. As for the young actors who are coming up now,may god bless them. They are all good. But I don’t look at them as competition. They have their time and let them do their work. There is enough for all.

What do you have to say about your last film,Raavan? Did you get your due?
I did Raavan only for my friend Abhishek Bachchan. It was my wife Sunita who wanted me to work with him. She said,Tum bade matlabi qism ke aadmi ho. Tum kisike saath bhi dosti ke liye kaam nahin karte. She insisted that I work with the best of directors and actors. And so I did Raavan. It was not a bad experience for me. I think I am fortunate to be working with great directors like Mani Ratnam and Ravi Chopra as they are a class apart. The success or failure of a film should not matter to an actor because what you learn in their company is what matters. I learnt a lot from Mani Ratnam.

So what did you learn from him?
Mani is a very hardworking man. He would wake up at 4 am. I would always crib about waking up that early. It was sheer torture for me to be ready and report on the sets at 6 am. (Laughs)

But later I started enjoying it and that led to a lot of respect for the man. He put in tremendous effort towards the film. He created that kind of atmosphere even for the team. What I did not like about Raavan was its climax. It was not a happy ending. I have never liked sad endings. But I wanted to be a part of his film. When he asked me what I thought of the movie,I said that the subject is very good.

So what is your criteria for selecting a film?
In this case,I was working with Mani Ratnam and so I thought it was an insult to ask him what I would be doing in the film. I worked with him like an accha baccha. I thought of him as a guru.

There were talks about a sequel to Partner?
Partner has been four years ago now and after that the makers never got a really good subject. It has also been more than a year since Do Knot Disturb. They may be having their own reasons but they think that they are not getting a better subject. I do not know what went wrong as I should have had three releases,Naughty@40,Banda Yeh Bindaas Hain and Run Bhola Run,last year. But I do not have any grudges as I know I have done my best. Now I have some good films. There is an action-comedy next. People will see a different Govinda now.

Then why was there a gap in your career?
I chose not to do too much work at that time. Now I am all geared up and I’m taking on films.

You have completed 26 years in the film industry. How would you describe your journey?
It has been very fruitful. I started in 1985 and the best decision I took at that time was to do comedies. It did hurt me personally. But the good thing was that I was never stressed-out like when I did action or emotion films. Today every hero is doing comedy. I started this trend years back and I take credit for that. My good phase began in 1992,after Shola Aur Shabnam,and today,I am doing only comedy. I could do it convincingly. Now I feel I can do anything.

Which has been your favourite film over the years?
All my successful films have been my favourites. I have never taken success for granted. You cannot deny success,money,respect to God or the value for the time you have invested into your work. It is history.

Salman Khan had promised to launch your daughter Narmada. What is happening to her film career?
That is baseless because right from the initial days we had decided that Narmada will not work with Salman as she considers him her chachu. It was what people expected. Anyways,she has now signed a film. I explained to her that a successful person is one who is good at what he does. ‘If you are working,you are successful. You should see the positive side of life.’

How does it feel to have you,her father,play the lead in some film even as she is the heroine of another movie?
It is good. I say we are blessed. But I look at it differently. I believing in playing the character even if he is the hero.

What are your expectations from Naughty@40?
It has all the ingredients to make it a success. When Partner released,for four weeks there was nobody in the theatres to see it. But then it picked up and how! Shola Aur Shabnam and Aankhen worked that way too. I feel it will be the same case with this film too.

Finally,why did you quit politics?
I realised that I did not belong there.

namita.nivas@expressindia.com

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