It's five months since he decided to follow his dream of being a part of the big screen. Then, he was nervous but today, he can't stop smiling that he got noticed in the film–Shootout at Lokhandwala– that's raking in big bucks at the box office. Or that he'd have directed his first short film starring Naseerudin Shah and Shabana Azmi.
"Touch wood," says Rohit Roy.
Shootout at Lokhandwala
About the film, he says, "Apoorva (Lakhia) was junior to me in college and all the boys in the gang were known to me. We share such a great bond that it's visible in the film. The film has been pronounced a certified A+ hit.
"I've been around for a while now. I've done some big films, some small and even some inconsequential films..but I've never seen anything like this before in my life."
Hasn't television also given him similar success? He replies, "There's a difference..on TV, the viewers connect with you because they remember you as a real character but in films, you're larger than life. I've never even remotely experienced this kind of euphoria..my phone hasn't stopped ringing."
Calling the shots
About his short film, Rice Plate, he says he has Sanjay Gupta to thank for it. He recollects, "He called me one day to say that I'm on standby. I thought he's offering me another film. Then he says that I've to meet Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi as the director of a short film that will be part of Dus Kahaaniyan."
"It took me some time to convince Shabana..but once she agreed, her commitment was 100 per cent. She had a tutor to teach her the right diction in speaking Tamil. She went to Matunga to shop for everything that she needed, including the nylon bag."
Did they comment on his directorial abilities? He replies, "Shabana did tell my wife Manasi that your husband is damn good at what he does and that he has tremendous clarity.
"The experience was incredible and nightmarish. It's a 10-minute film and I've completed shooting it. I was telling Gupta that it's a very difficult film in terms of location. We shot at the crowded Bandra station and outside VT station since the storyline required that authenticity.
Saying he's always looked up to directors like Raj Kapoor, Woody Allen and Feroz Khan, he adds, "I've always wanted to be an actor-director. I have to admit I didn't think things would fall into place so soon. I love that feeling in creating a totality."
What next? He laughs, "Depends on how long I take to get down from this euphoric feeling. I feel like a kid in a candy store who suddenly gets all the candies he wants."
And TV? "I've never walked out of anything in my entire career. Ravi Chopra has been too kind to me. He's allowed me to go for my outdoor shoots as long as I didn't let my act in Viraasat suffer," he says.
Apart from Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Hungama, he informs that the next project from Magicworks will be a fiction series. "Manasi is managing Sa Re Ga Ma.. We want to be associated with quality and differential programming."
He is also producing a film with Gupta. "That's for the festival," says Roy.
He has also signed up to be a judge on MH1's dance reality show. The 26-episode TV series also has Sangeeta Ghosh as a judge and Sanober Kabir as the hostess. "Dance is a passion," he signs off.