Tusshar Kapoor doesn’t just lock lips with Vidya Balan in The Dirty Picture in his first on-screen kiss but following it also freaks out in the bedroom, alone, with a bit of dirty dancing.
“Milan’s (director Milan Luthria) brief to me was to remember Salman’s (Khan) dance from Saajan. That was my reference point. Eventually I did it my way, in South Indian style. Milan and everyone else loved it so much that they kept the two-minute solo act intact, confident it would be a ‘seetie’ inducing scene,” smiles the actor.
He recalls how choreographer Pony Verma told him she wanted a Tusshar one had never seen before, and to break free of all his inhibitions. He followed her cue and jumped on the bed with his pillow, remembering all the South Indian-style Hindi movies of his dad (Jeetendra) that he’d seen on video growing up.
He also recalled moments of madness from his teenage years. “I’ve always loved dancing. If a girl I fancied agreed to go out with me to a discotheque on a weekend night, I’d break into a Saturday night fever in the privacy of my bedroom,” Tusshar admits.
Why did it take him 35 years to smooch on screen? He reasons that the need didn’t arise earlier but in this case, it culminates in a full-blown affair with Silk with Ramkant even ready to marry the audacious item girl. He doesn’t know whether Milan or writer Rajat Arora thought of the kiss, but he insists it was certainly not his sister Ekta, the film’s producer.
“I don’t know if she has even seen the film but my mother (Shobhaa Kapoor) has, and was pretty kicked. I haven’t asked about dad’s (Jeetendra) reaction but the company heads complimented me on a convincing song. I didn’t know then that the song meant a kiss,” he laughs.
The ‘kiss’ took three days to film, interrupted by the Telangana protests and a dragon fly attack. Finally, Tusshar had to air-dash from Jodhpur where he was filming Char Din Ki Chandni, to shoot through the night. Vidya was nervous and unwell, and he tried to make things easy for her by telling her that this film would be her Umrao Jaan or Pakeezah and brushing his teeth every time there was a break so his breath would be mint fresh.
“I was nervous too because this was my first time,” he says . “And Milan was more nervous. But we finally got the kiss done without any retakes.”