Riteish undaunted by sexuality rumours
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
After doing too many boys-having-fun comedies, Riteish Deshmukh was dogged by rumours about his sexuality but he remains nonchalant and says it is stupid to form opinions on the basis of his roles.
'It used to upset me but I've stopped reacting. I think journalists should know where to draw the line. I think those who write these films should be questioned, not people who act in them. If I was offered films like 'Masti', 'Kyaa Kool Hai Hum' and 'Bluffmaster', which were basically boys' films, I see no reason why they should be used to trigger off speculation on the actor's personal life,' Riteish told IANS.
Is Riteish unhappy with comedy?
'It isn't as though I've left comedy behind. Very frankly I did what was offered to me. I agree the current comic formula of putting a group of guys together, which started with my 'Masti', has run its course. They'll have to re-invent the comic formula.'
Riteish says he has no regrets about doing a vulgar comedy like 'Kyaa Kool Hai Hum'. No embarrassment about what dad Vilasrao Deshmukh would've thought?
'Though he likes films, he doesn't have time to even see mine. But yes, my mom saw it and I was embarrassed. But I'm not embarrassed about doing it. I wouldn't be doing a sequel. I guess I couldn't identify with some of the excessively vulgar scenes. But that's what makes me an actor. Don't you think so?
'Once I heard the script and accepted the film, I'd no right to turn coy. I guess 'Kyaa Kool...' falls into the genre of Hollywood comedies like 'Meet The Fockers'. If we can accept the naughty undercurrents in a Robert de Niro flick why are we so squeamish about it here?'
Riteish's next film is his buddy Sajid Khan's 'Hey Baby', which he describes as a family entertainer.
'It has laughter, emotions, love... it is about three boys, one baby and Vidya Balan... and that's all I can say about the film right now. Again in Anubhav Sinha's 'Cash' I don't have anything even remotely comic to do. In fact, I've a surprise role in that.'
A self-made actor, who never used his family name to get a foothold into the entertainment industry, Riteish doesn't look anxiously over his shoulder at what his colleagues are doing.
'After three years I'm glad I got where I am without a push from any quarters. If others are doing better then they are better than me.'
Riteish also has a business in architecture alongside his film career.
'But no one in the industry has asked me to design a house for them so far. They've better architects to do the needful. Come to think of it I haven't had a chance to improve my skills as an architect in three years. Hopefully, I've become a decent actor in the time being.'
Riteish is upbeat about the kind of movies being made currently.
'More money is being spent, so better films are being made. I'm doing the three-hero films where every actor has an equal role. That's what the economic dynamics of the industry demands. I don't want to do solo-hero films. No point in jumping into a situation that I may not be able to uphold.'
Riteish has no regrets that his role in Karan Johar's 'Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna' was edited out before release.
'See, Karan is a very good friend. I was working with a friend without any questions asked. If he asks me again I'd happily do it. Dharma Productions is a pleasure to be associated with.'
So is it possible to maintain friendships in the industry beyond work?
'Of course! Karan, for example, is a friend beyond work. It doesn't matter if he doesn't cast me, though it'd be great if he does. I didn't do the little part in KANK thinking he'd give me a bigger part next time.
'Sajid Khan is a buddy long before we decided to work together in 'Hey Baby'. We share a mutual passion for cinema and that's what made us friends. However, the lines between work and pleasure should be clearly drawn. If Sajid decides to work with another actor, I'd still respect him just as much.'