This is not Riteish Deshmukh’s first adult comedy but the actor is the first to admit that Grand Masti pushes the envelope unlike anything he has done before. “Every time a new action film comes, it ups the ante for fight sequences. The same principal applies to comedy. You have to do something new. In an action film, the sky is the limit for what you can attempt, but the danger in adult comedy is that jokes can get vulgar. Until now there were only double meaning dialogues and physical actions. So we have pushed the envelope with this one but hopefully we haven’t pushed it too far,” says the 34-year-old actor-producer.
Riteish had his concerns about the film even before he signed on the dotted line. “This was narrated to me when I was shooting for Kya Super Kool Hain Hum in Goa. My first reaction after the narration was that I am definitely not doing this film. I think we (Vivek Oberoi, Aftab Shivdasani) all reacted this way. But having done Masti, Kya Kool Hain Hum and its sequel Kya Super Kool Hain Hum, I thought maybe we are ready for a film like Grand Masti. There is definitely a certain audience for films like this. With the popularity of mobile phone, people exchange naughty jokes. And, there is no age for this kind of humour.” The film’s director Inder Kumar convinced Riteish to give the sequel of the 2004 Masti another shot.
While Reteish is mostly associated with comedies, the actor maintains that he is not typecast. “Through my decade-long career in Bollywood, I have done a variety of genres and roles. From Naach to Bluffmaster, Rann, Darna Zaroori Hai and Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, I have done everything from romantic films to capers and horror. Having said that, I will admit that comedy as a genre has given me maximum success. And, I enjoy comedies. It’s not a concentrated effort on my part to only do comedies or not do them so I can show my versatility. I pick the films that I enjoy.”
He might have had enough practice with mouthing dialogues loaded with double-entendres but that doesn’t mean they don’t embarrass him anymore. “Every morning, before reaching the sets, I would wear my cloak of embarrassment. If it was just us guys, I don’t think we would have got embarrassed, but saying those dialogues to the girls was mortifying. What was even more awkward was when the girls had to crack their jokes. But I guess, we got over our embarrassment after a while. If we hadn’t, we wouldn’t have completed the film. You have to make your peace with it. After embarrassment comes shamelessness and we got pretty shameless by the end of the shoot,” he says with a laugh.
Reteish confesses that there were scenes that his co-star Vivek and he were so embarrassed to do that they “begged Inder Kumar to give them to Aftab”. “Any scene that we thought was too out-there, Vivek and I would palm off to Aftab. There were many scenes that I didn’t want to be remembered for. It’s time for Aftab to be remembered now,” he says with a laugh, adding, “That bank robbery scene was not Aftab’s initially but both Vivek and I refused point blank.”
Interestingly, Reteish met his future wife Genelia D’Souza while working on the Masti almost nine years ago. This time around, Genelia was on the set while her husband shot the sequel. “Vivek’s wife Priyanka was also there. Genelia and she would be sitting together next to the monitor. Even though Genelia has done Masti and she’s seen all my other adult comedies, while on the sets of Grand Masti, she constantly had a bemused express. It was like she was wondering if we had lost our marbles.”
In the film Reteish plays a henpecked husband. Based on the experiences of his character, Reteish has few advices for husbands. “Never get into an argument. You will never win. When your wife gets angry, compliment her. Tell her she is looking pretty. If she gets angrier, just apologise. Even if you don’t know what your fault is, just apologise. Your last resort should be to accept blame for any and everything.” So, does Reteish follow these advices in his real life marriage with fellow actor Genelia as well? “Not really. Nah… Never ever ever.” After a long pause, he adds, “I hope Genelia doesn’t read this interview.”