It was a different situation though in Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai where things were just the other way round. During the choreography of 'Nacha Mein', a dance number in the film where entire cast of the film participates, Riteish was the natural choice to lead from the front. Reason being that he is the main lead of the film and seniority as well as relevance of his role dictates that the focus stays on him.
However, Riteish surprised everyone, including choreographer Bosco and director Milap Zaveri, when he suggested that it should instead be Ruslaan Mumtaz, the second lead in the film, who should hold the centre stage for this fusion club number that has a 'bhangra' base to it. Riteish's logic was simple; he wanted to go by the characterisation for the film rather than the real life standing in the film industry. Since Ruslaan plays a superstar in the film while Ritiesh is an Assistant Director, he felt that it would just be right if the song picturisation focused more on Ruslaan. Though this impromptu decision surprised quite a few, it definitely brought on a smile on the face of Ruslaan who was humbled by the entire experience.
Confirms Milap, "Yes, this indeed happened during the shoot of 'Nacha Main'. We were all set for the shoot and were through with rehearsals and all. Just when we were about get into an actual take, Riteish came up with this idea of putting Ruslaan in the front. Everyone was pleasantly surprised."
Amazed by this gesture of Riteish, Milap adds, "Riteish and I have been friends and share a great comfort level where we do bounce ideas to each other. However, on that day it was the respect factor which came in as I further realised that he is not just a fantastic human being but also a team player who thinks more about the film than his own self. This is my first film as a director and though I have just heard stories of actors playing truant on the sets, an incident like this made me feel happy that I am at the right place with right set of people."
On a lighter note, he adds, "It's a different matter though that my choreographer Bosco had to re-conceptualise the entire sequence all over again. Since Ruslaan was in the front, Riteish had to go behind him; something which changed the entire sequence of steps."
Riteish just smiles it all away when asked about this gesture of his, "It's not a big deal actually. Yes, I did suggest this but its okay. One has to look at things practically rather than going by egos. In 'Nacha Main', it would have looked awkward had Ruslaan been off focus. Someone who is playing a superstar should lead from the front."
Time and again one hears of how actors tend to short-change their colleagues, especially when they happen to be junior in experience. Talks about roles being cut and egos taking over the proceedings are not uncommon.