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Return of the comical

Govinda, comic actor-MP is awaiting the popular verdict on Bhagam Bhag, Priyadarshan?s new caper, writes Hiren Kotwani.

india Updated: Dec 23, 2006 03:01 IST

He has taken the knocks in his stride and is back exuding confidence. The comic actor-MP even has a famous role model. “Charlie Chaplin was one actor who got the most kicks from his co-stars. When asked about it, he said each kick only helped him progress further,” says Govinda. That’s the kind of optimism with which the actor approaches life these days.

At 44, the actor is eagerly awaiting the popular verdict on Bhagam Bhag, Priyadarshan’s new caper, which opened in theatres on Friday. And the initial reports have been encouraging. Those who have seen the promos say that Govinda’s comic timing is back, particularly in the Signal track.

Originally, the film’s co-producer Suniel Shetty was to do the role till David Dhawan told him that Govinda was interested in returning to the movies. Now there are a number of projects in the pipeline including Salman Khan’s Partner, Nikhil Advani’s Salaam-e-Ishq and Suniel Shetty’s Chal Chala Chal.

Govinda does not grudge a higher billing for Akshay Kumar in Bhagam Bhag. It is a far cry from the times the actor refused to play second fiddle in Taal  (Anil Kapoor eventually did that role) and the role of Chunnilal in Devdas  that Jackie Shroff finally did. At that time, Govinda believed doing these roles would relegate him to playing character roles later. And he says getting back in front of the camera hasn’t been easy. “Initially, I couldn’t understand what I’m supposed to do. But after a couple of days, everything happened spontaneously. Perhaps, initially I was under pressure because the world has changed a lot.”

Coming back after a series of flops, Govinda has been quick to realise the new reality. The actor who would land at 6:30 pm for a 9:30 am shift while shooting Jeeto Chhappad Phaad Ke, reported on time for a 7:30 am shift for Bhagam Bhag. “It was a new feeling working so early. I enjoyed it so much that I have developed an addiction for it,” he says.

Venturing into politics seems to have left him bitter but wiser. The accusations of neglecting his Mumbai North constituency don’t perturb him. “Next I will be blamed for heavy rains. There are people who are willing to pull you down everywhere. If you let the negative aspects of life affect you, then you can’t work. Manipulating things is child’s play in politics. If something has to happen, it will. There are bigger conspiracies and manipulative tactics to contend with,” he says. The lad from Virar knows what living in the metropolis is all about. Not surprisingly, his concerns have been problems related to local trains, water, schools and hospitals. “I have learnt more about life as an MP than in my innings as an actor. But acting is my life, this is where I belong.”