‘I’m not comfortable with a film on extra marital affairs’ – Kunal Khemu

It’s not easy for any actor to shed a tag once it clings to his image. Same holds in case of actor Kunal Khemu, who was a much-sort-after child artist (landmark film being Zakhm). However, he soon got out of that mould and joined the ranks of current hunks of Bollywood with outstanding performances in Kalyug and Traffic Signal.


Now with his upcoming release – Priyadarshan’s Dhol, Kunal sounds extremely confident about his decision to take up a multi-hero film after carrying two solo-lead movies on his shoulders.


Excerpts of the conversation:


Since the storyline of Dhol revolves around four good-for-nothing boys hankering to marry a rich girl, it seems to be an amalgamation of Golmaal and Style.

Yes, I won’t say these films look different from each other, they might look similar in terms of presentation and outlook but the situations created in the film are completely unlike. The actors might be common, but two films can’t be compared. An action film has to have action and same goes with the other genres. So, one can’t say that it’s the same.


When you have Priyadarshan making the film, everything is perfect. He is absolutely superb at what he does. And I promise you it’s not the usual comedy.


How unique is Dhol from the other comedy-centric films directed by Priyadarshan? 

His style of comedy will be obvious in the movie. But the audience will not see a repetition of any dialogues or characters of his earlier films. The manner of storytelling will be the same.


How was your chemistry with co-stars Sharman Joshi, Tusshar Kapoor and Rajpal Yadav?

Superb. It meant more when it came from the man, the director, himself. When we got done with the film, Mr. Priyadarshan hugged us and said that the chemistry was amazing. So it’s needless for us to say anything because we definitely enjoyed every bit. Also, none of us had any issues with each other.


Tanushree Dutta looks a little older to you on screen.

That is something I can’t help. And it doesn’t matter much since we are four guys chasing her, so I am not the only guy opposite her. I haven’t seen the final cut as yet, so I am clueless of how it is going to look.< Page Break >


After doing two stand alone projects based on realistic cinema, Kalyug and Traffic Signal, were you in two minds before taking up Dhol where you have to share the screen space with three parallel leads?

As an actor, it always satisfies me to do a variety of roles. I am confident of myself and the audience will appreciate my work for whatever I do, that is something which will keep me going. Besides I want to associate myself with different stories.


There are certain factors, which prompted me to take up this film. First and foremost it was a comedy and secondly it was Mr. Priyadarshan. And when I heard the narrative and my character sketch, I figured out that all the four characters will have proportionately balanced roles. Also, it makes my job easy as the film has names like Sharman and Tusshar. I got to learn so much from them. If people talk about me even when I am surrounded by 10 others, that means my bit was noticeable


If Dhol comes up with a sequel, would you go for it?

Yes, why not? If people want to see a Dhol again, then I would love to do it. But it shouldn’t be forced. Sequels should be treated as a different story altogether.


Did you plan your career graph, or it just happened?

One plans everything in the world but ultimately what has to happen will happen. Sometimes we want some film to release at a particular time but because of dates that never happens. The fun is in taking up roles and not thinking what will be good for you and what won’t work.


So you intend to tap on every genre?

Not every genre. I don’t think I will be comfortable doing a thriller, which deals with an extra marital affair. I should do something that justifies my age. I don’t mind playing a married guy but I don’t want to father a seven year old kid. There is a time for everything.


Does your interest lie in the technical aspect of film making?

I love to learn the nitty gritties of what goes on behind the camera. But I don’t intend to change my profession from an actor to a director. Also, I don’t want to write off any options. Maybe I will be a scriptwriter or a director 10 years down the line. But as of now I want to be associated with this industry as long as I can.


Your parents, Jyoti and Ravi Khemu, have been a part of this industry. Do you’ll intend to work together in any project?

Well there have been talks, but I don’t see it shaping up. My mother is happy being a housewife. Also, I don’t want comparisons to be drawn between my father and me. I would love to do a film with them, but it shouldn’t be forced. I would like to do a film if we are convinced about it, not because others want it.