x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh and Sajid Khan talk about their new film Hamshakals

Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh and Ram Kapoor talk about playing three roles each in Sajid Khan's ambitious new comedy Hamshakals.

Saif Ali Khan, left, and Riteish Deshmukh, right, give Ram Kapoor a butter facial in a scene from Humshakals. Courtesy Puja Films
Saif Ali Khan, left, and Riteish Deshmukh, right, give Ram Kapoor a butter facial in a scene from Humshakals. Courtesy Puja Films

The cast and crew of Sajid Khan’s latest film Humshakals was in Dubai last week to promote the comedy that takes one of Bollywood’s favourite genres – the “multiple role” – to a whole new level. Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh and Ram Kapoor appear in three roles each, while Esha Gupta, Bipasha Basu and Tamannaah Bhatia add glamour, rounding the lead characters to a full dozen.

Sajid Khan, why did you choose to make a film with three male leads, each in a triple role?

This is not the first time a film is being made with the central character playing multiple roles. Rajinikanth played three roles in John Jani Janardhan (1984) and Amitabh Bachchan did the same in Mahaan (1983). The first was probably Dilip Kumar, who did a triple role way back in 1976 in Bairaag.

The genre has been left unexplored for a while, so why not? Writing the perfect script drove me mad, which is why you will see some truly mad characters in this film.

Saif, you are a veteran when it comes to playing multiple roles. Do you find these roles, or do they find you?

Really? I don’t know if I deserve that. In which films have I played multiple roles?

1993’s Aashiq Awara, 1995’s Surakshaa, 1996’s Tu Chór Main Sipahi, 1997’s Hamesha and 2009’s Love Aaj Kal. How did you find the experience of playing three roles in this film?

[Saif Ali Khan] I feel great! It’s a classic genre in Indian cinema and Sajid has reinvented it. He gave us three roles in a story that is so different from the typical multiple-role stuff – not the usual tales of lost-and-found families or rich and poor. What you will see here, for instance, is that while one of the characters is a bit mental, another is a normally functioning person. It’s those kinds of differences.

Riteish, you played three characters in this film. How did you ensure they maintained their own ­integrity?

We left that to Sajid. He created the characters and he knows them really well, and they were so well fleshed out in the script that picking it up as an actor was not really difficult.

What the actresses say

Tamannaah Bhatia All the characters are kind of made to be extremely endearing. None of them is the kind you cannot like.

Esha Gupta Saif and Riteish, who are the crazy ones, are my favourites, because they are playing 5-year-olds at heart and are so much fun. But, as Tamannaah said, each character is extremely loveable.

Humshakals is out in UAE cinemas tomorrow

artslife@thenational.ae