Despite Housefull featuring Akshay Kumar as the central protagonist, you have to your credit some of the best scenes in the film. No role cutting by Akshay here?
Time and again I am faced with this question that 'Akshay role kaat-ta hai'. I don't know where does this all come from. At least I have never witnessed any such thing. On the contrary we all sat together for the betterment of the film. During the course of the film, there were instances when he himself asked for a scene of his to be cut off.
Well, audiences had their hands full with both you and Akshay on frame. Tell me Riteish, when it comes to comic timing, both you and Akshay have been known for doing quite well over the years. Did it lead to some kind of healthy competition between the two of you?
Not at all. As I said, it was a healthy collective effort. There are so many lines that Akshay gave to me in the film. Even for the much talked about climax sequence, he gave me one of the best punch lines. I also came up with my own suggestions. See, I really consider him as a good friend of mine. I have spent a year with him, Sajid Khan and Sajid Nadiadwala. We all often meet for a cup of coffee and dinner. We watch cricket and discuss a lot of things other than movies as well. I really cherish the kind of relationship that the four of us share.
It seems you share a great relationship with Lara Dutta too. First Do Knot Disturb and now Housefull, it has been quite some association between the two of you.
I enjoy working with Lara. I feel she is one of the funniest girls whom we have in the industry today. It's really great to have her around and work with her. Also, since I am good friends with her, it makes it all the more easier.
In her professional life though, it doesn't seem to be an easy situation for her. Though she has been around for so long and doing consistently well, don't you too feel that she is someone who has not yet got her due?
I think she is doing great for herself. I can't and should not comment on whether she has got her due or not. She has been choosing her roles carefully and doing well every time. She is talented and I am sure she is made for better things in months to come.
For you too, it must have been a huge relief. After Aladin, Rann and Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai, you now have a huge money spinner in your hands in the form of Housefull. Relieved?
Of course yes. In fact I was wondering if audience and critics would be kind to me because indulging into the kind of humour that Housefull carries is always a risky business. You never know when and how you will end getting bashed. But thankfully everyone has been unanimously nice to me and the jokes that I have cracked in the film. Glad to see it all working out after all.
You also bettered yourself physically for your film and developed those six pack abs. How come you never spoke much about then when other lesser actors continue to tom-tom about their physical appearance at the drop of the hat?
I developed these six packs primarily for the film and mainly for just one song - 'Oh Girl, You Are Mine'. But that doesn't mean that at any public function, social gathering or in private parties, I start removing my shirt and try to project those abs. One should promote a film as a whole, not yourself for your physicality.
Sajid and Co. didn't leave any stones unturned for the film's promotion though and as things stand today, the film is all set to be in the biggest league of box office openers.
I know. The film was meant to be an out and out entertainer and I am glad it has turned out to be mix of massy and a classy mix. It is catering to multiplexes, single screens, masses and classes across all age groups. Sajid (Khan) was always so confident about this that even at the beginning of the shoot, he gave me a letter that stated 'Welcome to the biggest hit of your career'. Last time when he did that for Heyy Babyy I doubted that. The film went on to cross 50 crores just in India. This time he aimed for bigger and as we all can see, such collections would be very comfortably surpassed in the matter of days.
Housefull has released and other than a dozen odd things for which the film has been noticed, loved and seeing repeat audience, it is the crackling chemistry between real and reel life friendship of Akshay Kumar and Riteish Deshmukh which is for all to see. The 'jodi' has been unanimously acknowledged and loved by one and all and it is remarkable to see even the junior actor turning out to be a scene stealer in many a scene which has Akshay keeping himself on the back foot. As Riteish Deshmukh talks fondly about Akshay and rest with this correspondent, he also dispels the myth surrounding the superstar pertaining to him uses his editing scissors to perfection by cutting off the roles of his co-stars.