Music composer-singer Himesh Reshammiya brushes off all criticism of his decision to turn actor with Aap Ka Surroor and says he is already planning a sequel to the film which is yet to be released.
"I'll of course be a musician at heart. But I'll continue being an actor. First, though, a long break after Aap Ka Surroor. I intend to take a two-month holiday. Of course, my future as an actor depends on the fate of my debut. But I'll definitely do a sequel," Himesh told IANS in an interview.
"Of course, Hansika (Motwani who stars in the first film) will be with me in the next film."
"The weather at all my locations has been kind. I'm feeling very grateful. We've completed the film on schedule. Yes, some people have not been too kind to me or my project. I guess everyone who enters a new field has to go through the grind. I've to prove myself. Until I do I'm open to ridicule. But 99 percent of people have been kind.
"As for the smirking minority who're questioning my right to be an actor, let the film come. I've got positive responses from everyone. I started my career as a serial producer, even then I faced rivalry. I've changed profession several times, from producing serials to composing music to singing to doing music videos and now I've come to acting. The number of professional rivals has been accordingly large.
<b1>"My acid test was the dialogue promotional clippings for Aap Ka Surroor. The film didn't go thanda when the dialogues came on. In fact it has been sold to distributors everywhere. That has given me a high."
To Himesh, acting came easy. "I'm very comfortable facing the camera. I feel as much job satisfaction as an actor as I do as a musician. Now it's up to the audience to decide how much they like my acting."
The film also stars Mallika Sherawat. In fact, Saroj Khan has choreographed the song Mehbooba in Aap Ka Surroor for her.
And everyone is wondering how it compares with Ganesh Hegde's Mehbooba in Ram Gopal Varma's Sholay.
About the leading ladies, Himesh says, "Both Mallika and Hansika were signed before we left for Germany to shoot. We never made any effort to hide the fact that Hansika was a child artiste or that she was doing a south film before she was signed for Aap Ka Surroor."
"As for Mallika, hers isn't a 10-minute role. She's done two songs and that itself comes to 11 minutes. Mallika is very annoyed by the rumour about her abbreviated role and also about the speculation on her fee. She has been paid what she deserves. No more no less."
Himesh enjoyed shooting the Mehbooba song with Mallika. "She's a thorough professional. And I must say she plays the part of Helenji from Sholay very well. My director, Prashant Chaddha, has tried to bring in the authentic 1970s feeling from Sholay into the song. He has also brought in the modern setting of James Bond's Casino Royale. Prashant is a director to watch."
Talk veers to Sonu Nigam's allegation that Himesh planted men to disrupt the former's concert in the US.
"Aisa kuch bhi nahin hua," protests Himesh. "I'd never stoop so low. I don't need to. I've always maintained Sonu Nigam is the best male singer in the country. I've no clue why those statements against me are attributed to him. Even if he's speaking against me I still say he's the best. And I wish him all the best. He's a colleague. We've worked closely together. I harbour no ill-will against him. Let him say those things in my face. Then we'll see."
Some filmmakers think Himesh has been neglecting his work as a composer to be an actor. "My Namaste London as a musician is a big hit. Please remember there are only 10-12 hits in a year. Incidentally, Red was a flop. But the music was a hit. I've never neglected my job as a music composer."
"For 10 very dramatic minutes I appear without a cap. Even in the Mehbooba song I appear without the cap for half the film. People will get to know through the film why I wear a cap."
He thinks for a while, "All the controversies have kept interest alive in the film. I hope the film lives up to the hype."
Strangely, Himesh's lucky mascot Salman Khan doesn't figure in Aap Ka Surroor. "I never asked him to be in the film. But, yes, my dad's, God's and Salman's blessings are with me."