Leander Paes is amused with reports of steamy scenes in Ashok Kohil’s
and says it’s the director and producer who have to deal with an actor’s antics.
Refuting rumours of any such scenes, Paes says, “I come in as an actor to do my bit. I am here to learn my art and create something magical for my audience. I don’t know what exactly went on. I have never met Ameesha before so I am not sure what the problem is, but in the movie there isn’t a single steamy scene as there’s no love story.” He adds that the director would answer queries about Patel walking out but informs that the story is about two antagonists played by Paresh Rawal and him.
“The film is a social satire, a drama thriller and talks about human rights in the Indian constitution. I play an
(common man) in the film,” Paes says, adding that the film talks about how the common man is shunned and ridiculed.
Paes want this and his next movie, Arindam Mitra’s
, to release one after the other.
He insists that since he wants his fans to judge him as an actor, he hasn’t done a “soda pop candyfloss” kind of movie for his launch. “I have not brought out my song and dance skills. Once my acting gets appreciated, I will focus on other skills later. But I do have a good sense of rhythm and can dance well,” he says.
Aware that his fans will be the biggest critics of his acting abilities, he says, “I am sure people are wondering what the hell I am doing in movies, whether I can speak Hindi, whether I can act to save my life, whether I can take direction or whether I can market myself as an individual.” Paes, who comes from poet Micheal Madhusudan Dutt’s line, adds that being a fearless man, he has always followed his passion and likes to reinvent himself.
“If you asked me whether I would win a Wimbledon title twenty years ago, I would have said yes. Today, after winning the title, no one would laugh at me, but if I said that my next goal is an Oscar, people will laugh. So I will let my work speak for itself, something, that I have done with my tennis for the last 23 years,” says the actor, who feels acting is a skill that you learn, just like tennis.
Talking about his preparation for the film, he says, “I was learning about the technicalities of the craft, such as lighting, spots and how to make friends with the camera. In tennis, one has to make friends with the tennis racket and ball, learn the nuances of how the ball moves. Here, you need to learn how the camera moves and how it functions.”