Govinda made a comeback to films last year with two back-to-back releases Kill Dil and Happy Ending. He played the antagonist in Kill Dil and a superstar in Happy Ending. However, the films did not fare well at the box office. Here the actor talks about what went wrong with the movies and his next outing…
Is it true that you are making your Marathi film debut?
Yes, I am doing a Marathi film, but the makers have to announce it first. Also, the project has been stuck for three months as they are sorting out some things. I will talk about it once it’s ready.
Both your comeback films Kill Dil and Happy Ending did not fare well at the box-office. What went wrong?
These days, heroes release their films during the holidays or the festive period. That way they get more shows in a theatre. I was making a comeback after four-five years. And two films of mine released almost together. Those who wanted to watch a comedy went to see Happy Ending and others saw Kill Dil. The audience got divided. Also, women, I feel, are not interested in films like Kill Dil. Another reason for their tepid business is they got released towards the end of the year. If they had hit theatres mid-2014, they would have worked better as it was the holiday season. Moreover, Kill Dill and Happy Ending are not my kind of titles — Coolie No.1, Raja Babu, Dulhe Raja are more my type (laughs).
But you were appreciated in both your films…
Yes, and that was a big surprise!
Why is that?
I thought because I was returning to films after a gap of five years, my fan following must have reduced. People would think, ‘After so many years, what was the need for Govinda to do these films?’ But whenever I appeared on screen there were claps from the audience and that was heartening. In Happy Ending, for instance, I was apprehensive about how people will react to me dancing with Ileana (Dcruz) but they liked it.
My mother is no more and I do what I feel is right. It was fate that I did have a film for five years. I wasn’t getting the roles that I wanted to, but finally my wife and daughter said I have to work. That’s when Kill Dill and Happy Ending came my way and I did them. They were not wrong decisions. As I said, people liked me in the films. Sometimes, if you come after a gap it works provided you work on yourself.
My home production Abhinay Chakra is ready and will release in January.
Hasn’t that been delayed?
Yes, but it’s okay. It’s just two years since I announced the film and it’s ready now.
Your daughter Tina’s debut film Second Hand Husband didn’t do well…
The film was completely her choice and she has acted well. Somewhere luck factor counts in the film line. Sometimes our relationships come into play or the presentation may not be right – like my two films which released around the same time. It was not wrong on the part of the makers because their money was invested in it, but the timing wasn’t right. Same thing happened with Tina though she was appreciated. Sometimes a good story and screenplay also doesn’t work. That’s not in anybody’s hands. When Sadma released Kamal Haasan and Sridevi, both were appreciated. Even the director won acclaim, but the film didn’t do well. People went to the extent of saying Kamal Haasan shouldn’t have done another film after Ek Duje Ke Liye!
Will you produce a film for Tina?
It is in my mind, but first let Abhinay Chakra release. When I decided to make this film, I didn’t get support from financiers. Sometimes, when we actors are making a comeback, we don’t get support, but that’s fine. I have completed the film and I hope it becomes a hit when it releases. I can say I did it on my own strength. It was the same at the beginning of my career too – Whatever I got was on my own strength – my producers then weren’t big.
Your son Yashvardhan looks ready to step into Bollywood. Is he planning to?
Yes, he has just done his acting and filmmaking course from London. He is trying to get into films. I did whatever I got, for me it was kaam mila, ishwar mila — maine screenplay kidhar jaa raha hai, story kya hai, kabhi dekha nahi — but my son won’t do that. He understands cinema.
Salman Khan recently launched Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty Are you looking at any of your industry colleagues to do the same for your son?
I don’t look at my friends for that. Then they feel they have made your life or that you are dependent on them. I don’t even want people to ask me these questions. Whatever we do, we want to do it on our own.
Will we see you working David Dhawan again?
No, never. And I would prefer not to discuss it. I don’t want to hurt anybody.
Other films in the pipeline?
Yes, I have signed three films, but I will talk about them when they are ready. That’s the way I work.