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Cheeni Kum cast quizzed about the film

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Saturday, May 26, 2007
Amitabh Bachchan, Paresh Rawal and director Balki addressed the London media in a press conference about their film Cheeni Kum.

Was Mr Bachchan the first choice for your film?
Balki - Yes. The film was written for Mr. Bachchan because he is the kind of person who inspired me to write Cheeni Kum.

Did he say 'yes' to it straight away or was he reluctant to romance a younger woman in the film?
Balki - If you see the film, you will understand that it's a simple love story and age is incidental. The story was treated pretty casually and was in tone with what the perception of Mr. Bachchan is - sarcastic, witty, understated, etc. That's the personality of a man.

How did you manage to rope in Paresh Rawal?
Balki - Cheeni Kum is about a 64 year old man who loves a 34 year old woman and in between that we have a 58 year old father of Tabu, played by Paresh Rawal. So, we needed someone who can match the calibre of Mr. Bachchan. The problem came while casting Paresh (laughs).

Do you think Cheeni Kum will be labelled in the category of Nishabd part two?
Balki - No. We started this film two and a half years back and if you actually see Nishabd, it was a serious film. Cheeni Kum is a comedy. The only similarity between the two is that an older man falls for a younger woman.

Do you have second thoughts that people will accept you in unconventional films like this one?
Amitabh Bachchan - I am 65 year old now. So, to get work at this age has become very difficult. I would like to thank Mr Balki and Sunil Manchanda for finding me a job, which I can do. My first priority was that I was getting this film and should accept it. As far as the age difference is concerned, it is very common in the villages of India. It's not a crime. If the two consenting adults want to live with each other and spend their life together then I see no reason why they shouldn't go ahead and build a relationship.

What is it like to be working with two great actors of our Hindi cinema - Paresh Rawal&Tabu?
Amitabh Bachchan - It's a great honour to work with both of them. Paresh is undoubtedly one of our finest artists in the industry and the same with Tabu, she is an exceptionally good actor and a person. If you would look at their record of work you will find the diverse roles that Paresh Rawal and Tabu have done over several films. Each film is distinctly identified with the kind of difference they bring to their characters.

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