On the one hand, he has more than 100 films to his credit. On the other, with only one film behind him, he is tense before the release of his second film, Karzzzz. Needless to add, the ‘he’ we allude to is composer-singer-actor Himesh Reshammiya, who may have proved his mettle as one of Bollywood’s most successful composers in recent times, but has a long way to go as an actor, or so he claims, with uncharacteristic humility and modesty.
Karzzzz, his second film as an actor, releases next week, with Himesh playing Monty, a character immortalised by Rishi Kapoor in Subhash Ghai’s cult film Karz, of which the Himesh-starrer is a remake. That Himesh has a huge fan following is a known fact, but like every new actor, his fingers are firmly crossed before a release. He has a hit under his belt with his debut film Aap Ka Suroor but the musician-cum-actor isn’t ready to rest on his laurels, so much so that he isn’t even ready to accept Aap Ka Suroor as his first film. “There I played Himesh Reshammiya… it came naturally. Karzzzz is like my debut,” Himesh insists.
And playing Monty wasn’t easy, though Himesh feels he has given of his best. That doesn’t lessen the tension, however. “If the film doesn’t work, the pressure is all on me because I have five films releasing next year,” he says.
So startled are we by this new, modest, humble Himesh that we probe beneath the surface a little. And Himesh admits that his nervousness comes from being a ‘non-professional actor’. “I am a non-professional actor, a non-professional dancer, an untrain-ed fighter and a non-good looking man. It’s the people around me who have presented me as Monty,” he says.
What excites him, though, is the initial response to the film. In fact, the song Ek Hasina Thi (originally sung by Kishore Kumar) is already a hit. But aren’t comparisons inevitable? Himesh doesn’t deny that they are, but is more confident because music is familiar territory. “For the first time I haven’t sung from my nose, my original octave, and both Pyarelalji and Rishi Kapoorji like the songs,” he says. “I approached this film as a fan. I am lucky that I wanted to become an actor and got the chance to be one, but I don’t know if I’ve done a good job.”
While Aap Ka Suroor turned unknown actress Hansika Motwani into a sensation, Karzzzz sees Himesh pair up with debutante Shweta Kumar, daughter of director Indra Kumar. “She is a talented actress, but we had a sea of talent in the form of Urmila Matondkar, Raj Babbar, Pran and Rohini Hattangadi,” he says.
With films like Hey Gujju, Kajra Re and a John Mathew Mathan project up for release, Himesh will now compose for his films only. “Five films a year means I will compose 40 songs. I will also sing the songs and act in the films,” he smiles. Who says creativity and business don’t mix?