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riteish deshmukh

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By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

It's not easy being the Chief Minister's son. But Riteish Deshmukh has been managing very well. The actor has been very busy lately.

Apart from acting in films, his architectural firm, Evolutions, has just completed building two multiplexes in Latur and Aurangabad, both of which should be opening next month.

In an informal chat, he talks about missing architecture, his designing plans and his dad.

Apart from acting, what else have you been up to?
My architectural and designing firm, Evolutions, has just completed two assignments, two multiplexes - one each in Latur and Aurangabad. It's not as if I have completely given up architecture for acting. We design interiors and commercial establishments too.

How long has your firm been operating?

Evolution is in Worli and been operating for six years. I got my architectural degree from Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies, went abroad for a year to practice with a firm abroad, came back to India and have been designing since then.

Recently, you came to the architecture and urban design firm, Kapadia Associates in Parel for a hush-hush meeting.The rumour is that you are planning to buy a bungalow.
That's not true. I had gone to discuss an architectural building that Evolutions had designed with Kiran Kapadia (director of Kapadia Associates). He is a very bright architect and was my teacher at Kamla Raheja. Since my college days, he has been very helpful and I always consult him for all my projects.

Acting or architecture - what do you find more creatively satisfying?
Both are equally satisfying. Acting is for people and makes one more visible and you come into the public limelight. The results are instant and people react to you much more.

Do you miss designing?
Lately, yes. I have been missing architecture a lot, especially the designing board. I haven't been getting the time ever since I joined films but now I have decided to carry my sketch book with me on the sets and start sketching again - anything from buildings to furniture and people.

Which is your favourite architectural monument in the world, and in India?
In the world it's the glass pyramid at The Louvre designed by IM Pie, while in India, it's the multiplex that my firm designed at Aurangabad.

What are your hobbies?
I like to relax with my friends, catch up on cricket, read books, play snooker at home and watch films. I love watching films.

Are you happy with your film career?
I am more than happy. I have been luckier than other actors who have joined films. I am taking it one step at a time. There is so much to achieve yet. I just want to do some good work.

Today, people call your dad (CM Vilasrao Deshmukh) 'Riteish Deshmukh's father' more than they call you 'the CM's son.' How does that make you feel?
I think that comes only from the kids who watch my films. I don't know how to react. I can't weigh both to see which is more important to me as I am not in contention with him to prove who is more famous. I am very happy and proud to be his son. My head rises with pride when I'm called his son.

Have you stepped out of his shadow today?
I hope I have. The shadow is so big that it takes a while to come out of it. I know there are certain responsibilities I have to be aware of and things I am not supposed to do. I abide by that. In social situations, I perform on autopilot. The decorum has to be maintained.

Any pressure from your parents to get married?
No. I have a very open relationship with them. In this generation, parents don't push for marriages out of pressure. Those days are gone. I just want to work hard, do some good films, gain some stability in my career and become known as the best architect in India.

Riteish's upcoming releases

Subhash Ghai's Apna Sapna Money Money
"It's an ensemble cast and an out-and-comedy based in a basti and what happens when a diamond necklace finds its way there. I play Shreyas's (Talpade) friend who comes to sort out his love story and I keep changing my looks - from a 55-year-old Kathak dancer to a Nepali to a woman. It also stars Sunil Shetty, Koena Mitra, Riya Sen and Celina Jaitly."

Sohail Maklai's Cash
"It's a stylish action-thiller directed by Anubhav Sinha, and also stars Ajay Devgan, Zayed Khan and Shamita Shetty."

Indra Kumar's Dhamaal
"There's Sanju, Arshad Warsi, Ashish Choudhury and Javed Jaffrey. It's a situational comedy. Sanju is a senior hero but he treated me like a younger brother. He has no attitude."

Sajid Nadiadwala's Hey Baby
"Directed by Sajid Khan, the film also stars Akshay Kumar and Fardeen Khan. It's a comedy."

Sujoy Ghosh's next
"I can't reveal much. It's a children's film."

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