The Brit boy who kicked off his career in modeling and later switched to Bollywood has become the new heartthrob in the industry. After bagging the Best debut award for his role in 36 China Town Upen Patel is all set to rock. The excited actor talks to us about Shakalaka Boom Boom and Namastey London.
How is life post 36 China Town?
Life after 36 China Town has been very good for me. It's been a fantastic debut for me. The song which Himesh gave me was a huge hit all around the world. So I hope you are recognizing me because of that. So I was really excited. Also the critics in India appreciated my debut. My role in 36 China Town which is really good because I think a lot of people were saying, "Where would Upen Patel be, you know there is Kareena Kapoor, there is Shahid Kapoor, Akshaya Khanna? He is doing a small role, would he get lost?"
But I feel everybody in that film benefited me the most. Winning "Best Newcomer" this year for 36 China Town just proved that and I think it's fantastic for me.
Shakalaka Boom Boom seems promising...
Shakalaka Boom Boom is my second film. I'm very excited about it. It is directed by Suneel Darshan. I can say it's my lone film because I'm playing the main lead in the film. Bobby plays a negative character; both the girls are opposite me. I'm playing a rock star who comes from India and goes to New York with big dreams in his eyes of becoming huge rock star in the US.
So he is a guy who is very ambitious, very aggressive, and temperamental. He works with instinct and that's what takes him to America where you have another character called AJ who is played by Bobby Deol, who is a fantastic actor. AJ, who is already in US, is doing very well for himself and he starts getting insecure because a new kid is coming and people like his music.
So it's a basically about the insecurities that Bobby has with me and how we are archrivals in this music industry and about the whole circle and the procedure. How people try and disturb our relationship, disturb our music. Shakalaka Boom Boom is inspired from an English movie called "Amadeus".
How are Celina and Kangana as co-stars?
I think you have seen her in the many films and she is appreciated. She was a Miss India, very smart girl, professional girl. So I'm very excited about working with her and I'm sure this film would do a lot for her.
Then there is a Kangana who we all know is a fantastic actress. She is proved herself in Gangster and Woh Lamhe. It was a pleasure and honor to work with her and she is also being wining best newcomer this year as well with me.
So I think for me and Kangana it's a very exciting year with such a big film. She is also playing a glamorous role; I'm also playing a leading man for the first time. So for both of us this means a lot for us.
You get to kiss both the girls in the film....
Yeah, I kissed both the girls in the film. The script required it, I think both the kisses are situational. They are not like long-long kisses, they are about 2-3 seconds shot. But it's just to show the relationship I share with Kangana and Celina, also to show the intimacy of the relationship which also ruffles some feathers with Bobby. But I think the scene is necessary. So the audiences try to understand the relationship that we would share and why Bobby has felt this way.
So I think once you guys see the film you will understand why these kisses are there.
Himesh's music is chartbuster stuff...
Working with Himesh, you got to love him or hate him but you can't know him. I think his music says it all. He has been very lucky for me. He gave me Aashiqui Mein in 36 China Town and today he is giving me Shaka Laka Boom Boom and he is giving me Dil Lagayenge. So he has given me some great music. He claims that this is the best music he has ever done. So that's exciting and good to know that people are appreciating this type of songs. So I think we have got a fantastic team.
They have got me, Kangana, Celina, Bobby, Himesh. We have got very young team and it also exciting for my director-producer Suneel Darshan because he is also working with everybody for the first time. Apart from Bobby; it's a whole new cast for him. It's a whole new technician team for him. So I think every thing is very exciting for all of us.
How is Suneel Darshan as a director?
See Mr. Darshan is a very patient man and I think for a newcomer it's a very important to someone to be patient with you and I respect him a lot. He is like a father figure for me. He believed in me, he has guided me and I think he is someone that I think knows how to bring out acting me.
He saw 36 China Town and told me that "When I saw the film I thought there was so much more to you. so I have cast you in this film because I believe you can act. I believe you can act; you can take things to another step, and not just look good dancing. And I hope I make his belief come true because he is really giving everything to his film and he stood by me.
What's the USP of Shakalaka?
I think me and Kangana are the USP of the film. You got two good newcomers coming together for the first time in a Suneel Darshan. Suneel Darshan is a man who works with the biggest stars with Akshya Kumar, Kareena Kapoor, Karishma Kapoor, Sunny Deol. He only works with big stars.