Bollywood's gag bag Govinda, who is playing his second innings in Bollywood after a not so successful stint in politics, candidly admits that some of his recent films didnt do well as they were not properly promoted. He says times have changed since he began his career in 1986 and a film will only click if it is promoted well.
"Publicity drama has become a very important part for any film now. It is an important element. That's the only reason why some of my previous movies didn't do well.
"We have to take care of promotions now. Earlier it was not part of filmmaking. I always thought that after completing my shooting, my work is over. But now, from the time you sign the project till the film hits the screen, you have to be on your toes. It is very important to convey what you are doing and reach out to the audiences in the remote areas. Film promotion is a tough job, but is a necessity now," Govinda, 47, told IANS in an interview.
"I started my career with a very straightforward approach - I wanted to earn more and more money. When I started getting roles, my immediate priority was to earn loads of money. As a child, I had never seen money," "For me cinema had nothing to do with art or about having a grand star-like image. There were only two things in my mind - earn money and make my mother happy. So whether it was a negative, comic or lead role, it didn't matter to me. I had become money-minded. But slowly I started appreciating cinema," added the actor who made his debut in Bollywood in 1986 with "Ilzaam" and has so far featured in over 120 movies.
Govinda worked in dramas like Love 86, Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani, Halaal Ki Kamai and the thriller Hatya, which helped him in finding a foothold in an industry where people's destiny changes every Friday.
But he came into his own when he met director David Dhawan, who gave him the right platform through his comic capers and helped him in becoming a star. The duo rocked the box office with blockbusters like Aankhen, Raja Babu, Coolie No 1 and Hero No 1.
The common thread in Dhawan's films was that they presented the funny side of Govinda and audiences loved him in that avatar.
Light-hearted films will never fade away, says Govinda, adding, "Comedy has always been there. It has been at the core of Indian cinema. There was comedy then, there is comedy even now. Earlier, we used to convey certain important messages through comedies," said the actor, who recently featured in Loot.
"A lot of comedies are being made because they have a mass appeal, but the problem is that the filmmakers cannot see beyond the profit and money aspect. Nothing has changed in style," he added.
After reigning the box office for years, Govinda decided to cash in on his popularity by foraying into politics and contested and won a Lok Sabha election, but couldn't make his mark as a politician.
For him, the only option was movies. So he decided to make a comback on silver screen. The former Congress MP started his second innings with superhit comedy Partner, again helmed by his mentor Dhawan. He also featured in light-hearted movies like Money Hai Toh Honey Hai, Life Partner, Do Knot Disturb and Naughty @40, but unfortunately none of them could replicate his past success.
With a lot of actors turning producers, Govinda hinted he might venture into production.
"I will prefer production any day. Direction is a very difficult job. You have to consider a lot of things when you get into that league. It is not my cup of tea. I don't think I can do it. I want to remain young, I want to remain an actor all my life," he said.
(Manpreet Kaur can be contacted at email@example.com )