Newcomer Maradona Rebello, who plays the lead role in just released Pankh, confesses he had a harrowing time doing unconventional things like getting smooched by a man in the movie. But he says going nude in front of his screen mother, played by Lilette Dubey, was the toughest.
"It's been a harrowing time for me. I've given the role everything because I believed in the film," Maradona told IANS.
"It's the story of a pushy mother and a male child who's pushed into the movies dressed as a girl. My character grows up confused about his sexuality. I had to do many things that didn't come naturally to me because I'm a straight guy. I had to kiss a man, get pushed around by him," he added.
Directed by Sudipto Chattopadhyay, Pankh is a wild ride through the underbelly of the film industry. It also stars Bipasha Basu, Dubey, Ronit Roy, Sanjeeda Sheikh and newcomer Amit Purohit.
"When I came on the set wearing stocking and lipstick, my director Sudiptoda freaked out. He was so apologetic. He asked everyone to leave the sets. I told him to chill. But in the nights, I just couldn't sleep. I was harrowed. Luckily, my parents supported me. They saw the film and loved my performance. My mom didn't flinch even when I stripped in front of my screen mother," said Maradona.
At the climax of the film Maradona had to take off all his clothes and show his screen mom he's a man.
"Right through the film she keeps taunting me that I am no man. Finally, in a fit of rage I had to undress and show her that I am a man. It was a very difficult scene to do. Fortunately, Lilette Dubey made me very comfortable. Before the scene she hugged me and said it'd be fine. And it was," he said.
Worst was the plight of being kissed by a man. "My co-star Amit Purohit had to kiss me right here at Marine Drive. Luckily, it was the night and not too many people were around," said Maradona.
The character has changed Maradona's life. "I know I'm straight. But playing a guy confused about his sexuality can shake you completely."
The young actor can breathe a sigh of relief about his second film Dunno Y? Na Jaane Kyun. "Here I'm completely straight. In fact, I'm straight in Pankh as well. But throughout the film I had to keep trying to prove to the world that I am not gay."
But his second film too has gay element. In Dunno Y ?Na Jaane Kyun, Maradona has an affair with his sister-in-law married to his gay brother.
"I can't reveal much about the part. But I got to work with screen divas like Zeenat Aman and Helen. Not bad for my second film."