Suniel Shetty had to deliver a long speech in memory of his character's father in his new film Daddy Cool. And for the first time, the actor dug into his own emotions and thought of his own father while doing the scene.
"It was a rousing moment for me. I forgot I was acting a part. I became my own father's son while speaking of my character's father," Suniel said.
Though Daddy Cool is a remake of Frank Oz's 2007 comedy Death At A Funeral, Suniel, who plays the role of the elder son at his father's funeral, says the emotions have been completely changed in the desi remake.
"Funerals are no laughing matter in our culture. So while remaking the original film we had to keep in mind the local sentiments. Ours is far more emotional, far less farcical comedy than Death At A Funeral. In plot and characters Daddy Cool is exactly like Death At A Funeral, including my character's speech for his father at the end which is what prompted me to accept the role," said Suniel.
All the characters in Daddy Cool are the same as in Death At A Funeral except Javed Jaffry's.
"That's right," says Suniel. "And Sharad Saxena plays the dead dad. He's a wonderful corpse," he said.
Others who have played a corpse include Satish Shah in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron and Anupam Kher in Rahul Rawail's risque and raunchy Buddha Mar Gaya, which was uncannily like Death At A Funeral although both came out at the same time.
Suniel said: "Daddy Cool is not the least risque or vulgar. We've kept it clean."
So proud are producers Indra Kumar and Ashok Thakeria of their remake that they intend to show Daddy Cool to the makers of Death At A Funeral.
"There's nothing underhand or unfair in this adaptation. We've gone by all the rules. The producers have paid a huge amount of money to get the remake rights. And then Reliance Big Pictures bought the rights for Boney M's song Daddy Cool. You could say Daddy Cool is the face of the new corporatised Bollywood. We can't have sneaky stolen films any more. Everything has to be on paper," said Suniel, one of the first entrepreneur heroes of Bollywood.
Suniel had a ball shooting for Daddy Cool.
"It was like one big picnic, just like Priyadarshan's De Dana Dan. All of us never knew when the film started and ended."
Suniel's other ready-for-release film Red Alert features him in a serious realistic avatar.
"Daddy Cool was a good counter-point to Red Alert," he said.