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Himesh: No secrets about Mallika

Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Though Himesh isn't saying it, he has recorded a song with Sunidhi Chauhan to be picturized on Mallika and himself. Why was Mallika's presence was kept under wraps? "She was signed on from the start. But we didn't announce her name. I never intended to hide her presence in my film," exclaims Himesh from Bangkok. "If all goes well Aap Ka Suroor will make me the first singing star since Kishore Kumar. And why would I feel insecure about Mallika's presence? The truth is she's playing a negative role, a vamp. She plays a strong character. We wanted to introduce the film's leading lady first. It was nothing but a marketing strategy to announce my leading lady Riaa's name first. There was no intention to create any secrecy about Mallika's presence."

Himesh is clear that the film is essentially his vehicle. The rest of the cast is incidental. "Why should I feel insecure about anyone else in the cast? I play this rock star who gets trapped in a mystery. It's a love story within a thriller format. I have a very performance-oriented role. I have to prove myself. I know people are bitching about me, ' Bada chala actor ban-ne'. Among singers only Kishore Kumar has been successful as an actor. I want to repeat Kishore-da's success. And for that, I couldn't do anything half-baked. I need everyone's blessings."

Himesh is very happy with the way his debut film has shaped up. "It's turned out exactly the way we had hoped. We shot in completely-untried locations all over Germany. We shot seventy percent of the film in Germany, and the rest in Bangkok except for a small portion in Goa. Vijay Taneja has been a hand-on producer. And my director Prashant Chaddha has really guided me in front of the camera. We had worked together on my music videos. Now he'll prove himself as a feature-film director."

He pauses between shots to say, "Every actor praises his own film. I'm doing the same. But on June 29 we'll get to see doodh ko doodh pani ka pani." There's the fear of falling flat on his face. "You can't predict destiny." Back home, Himesh's music in Shakalaka Boom Boom and Red couldn't salvage the films. "But the music worked and I'm happy. In Namastey London, both my music and the film worked. Now I'll divide my time between music and acting, regardless of how Aap Ka Suroor fares at the box office. But my acting will always be connected with music."

Himesh returns to India in the middle of May. "But until then I don't have any time to play games about the film's cast," he chuckles.

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