Shiney Ahuja

What is your role in the film Woh Lamhe?


I play Mahesh Bhatt in Woh Lamhe.
He is a selfish, ruthless director whose only aim in life is success. For his
own success, he will use whoever comes in his way. He manipulates and uses Sana
Azim’s (Kangana Ranaut) success for his own benefit. In the middle of this love
interferes. The film is a love story between an actress and the director –
Parveen Babi and Bhatt saab respectively.


 


Since you were playing a real
character what kind of homework did you do?


Honestly there is a great
responsibility to play a real life person and more so because he is the creative
head of the company that I work for. (Laughs)


 


Cinema becomes a part of history
and his life will become a part of history. So it is a big responsibility on my
part to portray the real emotions that man felt.


 


I did not go into the physicality
of his character, the way he walks and moves. It takes time and unfortunately
our cinema doesn’t allow you that comfort. But what’s more important is that if
the audience can feel through me what Mahesh saab went through during his life,
then I think my job is done.


 


Why do you say
that?


It becomes more of a caricature
than a character and I did not want that to happen. I would rather play it in
the Hindi movie style where you play it with your heart and don’t get into the
physicality of the characterization. I believe that you should not get into that
unless you are totally comfortable with it and I did not have that kind of time
so I decided that its better that I don’t play it in a hammy way and rather
connect with the character emotionally and play it in that
way.


 


Are intense roles your
forte?


I don’t understand intensity as an
emotion. It’s a very loosely used term. Intensity is a strong conviction of that
character towards the emotion he is feeling at that time. These roles are hard
hitting and I like these characters. It’s a challenging role to play.


 


Does it bother you that you were not the first choice to play this
role?


Actually I have never been the
first choice of any of the films, not even for Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi. But once the
film finishes, the directors tell me that I was the best choice and if they were
to do a film again, they would cast me.


 


Even for Gangster, Shoaib Akhtar was supposed to
play my role. I got really angry in an interview when I was asked – Do you think
he could have acted better than you? I said yes, if he can act better than me I
can bowl faster than him.


 


At the outset you are not a
directors’ first choice but there has been a trend of them to repeat you.
Comment.


When you’ve worked with someone,
automatically there is a comfort level. If I do a film with another film maker I
will be slotted there. At present I am doing a film with Priyadarshan for
T-Series, with Vidya Balan and Akshay Kumar, where I play a rich NRI doctor.


 


What are your other forthcoming
films?


I am doing Metro with UTV, which is directed by
Anurag Basu. I play a writer and theatre director and am paired with Shilpa
Shetty. I will start shooting in a week for Bahut Nikle Mere Armaan with Sudhir
Mishra. I play a 1950’s writer director.

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