I don’t mind being stereotyped: Riteish


Riteish Deshmukh may not be a successful lead actor in a film, but he has made a career playing funny characters and second fiddle to the lead star, and yet creating his own space in 100 crore films like ‘Housefull’, ‘Kya Kool Hai Hum’ and ‘Dhamaal’ series. Lately, Riteish has been frequently visiting Vadodara for shooting the sequel to ‘Masti’ — ‘Grand Masti’ at the Laxmi Vilas Palace. In an informal chat he tells us how having a famous surname does open doors for him to meet people, but at the end of the day it is a struggle for him. Excerpts from the interview:
Being an actor with a perfect comic timing, you are repeatedly doing films with naughty humour and adult content.
Of course, I am stereotyped! And in my space, I don’t mind being stereotyped. But the kind of films that I am doing are the only films that are doing `100 crore business in B-Town. It’s only when such films work, I get to play a lead role in a film like Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya. But next year, I am doing an action-thriller and a drama based film. I can’t question why I am being offered a role in a sequel or repeatedly being asked to do a funny, loud comedy film (naughty humour). If someone like Akshay Kumar can do films like that, then actors like us are in no position to question. We have to accept that audiences like such films.
Were you confident of making it big in films?
I am an accidental actor. I thought my first film would be my last film. I was pretty sure that with my face and personality, I would never be offered another film because even my first film came as a surprise! I was ready to leave B-Town and was quite confident that no one would be ready to work with me. If my films have worked, if actors and filmmakers have worked with me, then I can only say that they have been kind. Secondly, people had this idea that being a politician’s son would get me enough work in films, and it took a long time to come out from being called ‘cm/ex cm’s son’ to just being Riteish Deshmukh. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud to be my father’s son and he was very successful in his career as a politician, but it was a task changing people’s perception of me.
You bond very well with stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar. Do you feel somewhere these friendships have helped you in your career?
I have never analysed my equations with the stars so much as people like to do. I am friends with Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan and Amitabh Bachchan. Being my father’s son helps me with an initial meeting and a cup of tea but more than that everyone wants to earn money at the BO. Friendships or contacts don’t get you work. I don’t discuss politics with my friends and they don’t discuss filmy projects with me. My friendships with Karan Johar or Sajid Khan have never been about work. I don’t chat with friends with the expectation of working with them.
What are your plans now? Are you getting bored of constantly being a part of an ensemble cast in a film?
‘Bored’ would be a strong word to use, but let’s say I am focusing on my architecture work and also co-producing a Marathi film.