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Upen Patel is a hurt man. This time around the attack has been on his self-respect and dignity and he has decided that enough is enough.
Says Upen angrily, "I am not taking it lying down. After all for a man self-respect comes above anything else. I am still trying to get a hold of how the industry functions but when it comes to maintaining one's dignity and place under the sun, I don't need anyone to teach that to me the hard way."
What went wrong? Calming down, Upen reveals, "I have a guest appearance in One Two Three and that's fine because the understanding between producer Kumar Mangat and myself was quite clear on this since the very beginning. However, director Ashwani Dhir has taken this a little too far and his behaviour has been incomprehensible to me."
"Music of One Two Three was launched last week and entire cast and crew of the film was invited for the occasion. This is where I felt like truly unwanted as Ashwani didn't find necessary to even call me on the stage. Imagine surrounded by industry people, friends and media and waiting for an announcement to happen which never comes."
"Suniel Shetty, Tusshar Kapoor and others were invited, which is great for them as they are main actors in the film. But why leave me out? There is something called basic professional courtesy", says the bitter actor who had shot to fame with his number 'Aashique Yeh Meri' in his debut film 36 China Town and followed it up with Shakalaka Boom Boom.
Were there issues during the making of the film too? Answers Upen, ""I didn't share a pally relationship with Ashwani during the film's making as I just have a song and 3-4 scenes. Still, we weren't having fistfights either. I am clueless why is he embarrassing me in this way now. Would he have done that or anyone would have allowed that if I had a backing from a Khan or a Kapoor? It was a humiliating experience."
Getting into a pensive mood he says, "I don't deserve this. For God's sake, I have worked with the likes of Abbas Mustan, Suneel Darshan and Vipul Shah and not a novice as many may like to believe. I did this role because Kumar Mangatji wanted me to. Apart from Suneil Shetty, Tusshar Kapoor and Paresh Rawal, all of whom play Lakshmi Narayan in the film, he also wanted a young guy. I had a complete idea about what I was getting into but was cool since Kumarji is a very nice and humble man. Later I got to know that even my limited role in the film has been edited further as the film's length was becoming long."
Is that a point of contention as well, "Not really. Being in the industry for a few years now I understand such things happen. Fair or not fair is a different thing. My point of view is that whatever be the situation, an individual's self respect shouldn't be compromised. Ashwani has stepped over my feet and my funda is clear - you good with me and I will be good with you. If you are bad then don't expect me to be good."