Chit Chat

I’ve no qualms being Salman Khan’s side-kick in Kick: Randeep Hooda

Randeep Hooda jokes about being Sallu’s onscreen sidekick, the roulette of his reported love interests, and Deepa Mehta’s next.

Why Kick?
Why not Kick? It’s a real biggie and will expose me to Salman Khan’s large audience base.

Salman as the ‘Devil’ is both the hero and the anti-hero, so what’s Randeep Hooda doing?
Bhai ko sirf bhai maar sakta hai (Laughs). I’ve no qualms being Salman Khan’s side-kick in Kick.

Sajid Nadiadwala revealed that Salman sat for a narration only recently, what about you?
I didn’t go into the film blind, I had a rough idea. But as the script evolved, I was surprised that they wanted more of me. Sajid relies on his sixth sense as a director and knows exactly what he doesn’t want. He’s an old hand at production and joked that if he didn’t do a good job with Kick, his directors won’t listen to him again. After doing films with tight timetables and budgets, it was relaxing to do Kick though we had a deadline as the release date was announced in advance.

Yeah, you’ve often done films which are strong in content…
(Cuts in) But not promoted well.

Highway was…
It could have been promoted better. Highway started out as a Randeep Hooda film and ended up being Alia’s movie.

Well, Alia is young and happening and till then had played an airhead heroine.
Highway was the first film where she got to act a little.

Being Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter, the media hype was inevitable. The story tilted towards the girl protagonist at the end, so did the promotions. But without Mahabir there would have been no Highway.
(Laughs) Maybe if Imtiaz Ali had gone the other way, he would have made more money. But once I finish with a film, I hate going back to it.

So, Highway is not a milestone in your career?
It was Alia’s second film and took her to parts of India she’d never seen before. I’ve seen that India before. So, for me Highway was just a good movie. I’ve done other good movies like Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai, Jism 2, Murder 3, but somehow I have never got credit for their success.Bollywood is a funny world. That’s why I like sports better; you either win or lose there!

How did the Charles Sobhraj biopic go from Bad to Main Aur Charles and what caused Pooja Bhatt’s exit?
I don’t want to wash dirty linen in public. All I’ll say Main Aur Charles is a better title and the film has shaped up well.I’d like to hang out with Charles Sobhraj some day.

You’re also doing a film on doctor-turned-cop-turned politician Dr Ajoy Kumar?
I’ve met Dr Kumar, he’s a gentleman, an affable statesman.I’m getting lots of offers…

There’s also a Milan Luthria Bhushan Kumar film with Lisa Haydon…
Today, I’m offered comedies, dramas and love stories, not just intense, action roles, . I’m a little lost about what I want to do so I’m taking my time.

Meanwhile, you and Lisa are dating, and went out for dinner recently…
(Smiles) The bit about the dinner is true, not the other bit.

So, who’s the girl who has your heart racing?
(Laughs) My girl reportedly changes from movie to movie, the next name you hear could be Sarah Allen, my co-star in Deepa Mehta’s next. I leave for Canada in a few days to prep for the role.

Tell us more…
It’s not one of those East meets-West roles that Indians are seen in. The film is set in Canada and inspired by a real story. It’s got drama, a little violence, lots of family and a great love story. I met Deepa last December. We’re different people with similar inten tions. I asked her why she was making such a male film. I can’t repeat her answer, but it convinced me to do this film.


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