By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Monday, September 17, 2007
Spurred on by the success of John Travolta's drag act in the new summer comedy block-buster Hairspray; a number of Bollywood directors are planning to put their leading men into ladies clothes.
One of the first units to incorporate a long drag act is Shashi Ranjan's Dhoom Dhadaka who are currently shooting in Bangkok. A longish drag act featuring the two leading men Sammir Dattani and Shaad Randhawa posing as girls along with Shama Sikandar and Aarti Chabria was incorporated into the plot. Shaad Randhawa who had also done Woh Lamhe and Awarapan for the Bhatts, says he was uncomfortable when he was asked to get into women's clothes. "It felt funny to begin with. Obviously, I had never done it before," says the young actor. "After my colleague, Sammir and I got into women's clothing; we just kept looking at each other and wondering what we were doing. Once we got the hang of it, things were fine and fun. Both Sammir and I realized that as actors we would be required to do many things that we are not familiar or even comfortable with. That is what acting is all about. In Woh Lamhe I had to abuse Kangana physically and verbally; but I'd always go and apologize to her after every shot."
After Woh Lamhe, Shaad did not want to get typecast as a villain. The Bhatts gave him a choice of either playing Emraan Hashmi's friend or the junkie villain (played by Purab Kohli) in Awarapan. Shaad opted for the more sympathetic role. The nephew of the legendary Mumtaz, Shaad has gone into comedy in Dhoom Dhadaka. "My aunt offered to take me around to introduce me to producers in Mumbai. But I knew in the long run that wouldn't help me at all. I wanted to do it on my own," says Shaad whose father, once a professional wrestler, is the brother of the mythic Dara Singh.
"I grew up in an environment of aggression. But somehow I'm more a philosopher at heart than a warrior," Shaad ends shyly, and promises to remain loyal to the Bhatts. "They gave me my first and second break. I can't let them down."