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‘Basra is on’

Nikhil Dwivedi refutes rumours that Abhay Deol’s first production has been shelved for want of finance… says it’s just been pushed back by a few months.

entertainment Updated: Apr 29, 2010 13:01 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times

AbhiBuzz is that Basra is in trouble because Abhay Deol has been unable to raise funds for his first production. Nikhil Dwivedi, his co-star in the film, refutes the rumours. He admits that the film was to take off in April but paperwork with authorities in the Middle-East took time.

And with Zoya Akhtar’s film with Abhay, Hrithik Roshan and Farhan Akhtar ready to take-off at the end of May and proceeding till August, Deol has prudently decided to push his film back to September-October.

“Navdeep (director Navdeep Singh) wants Abhay, me and some of the other actors to maintain a certain look so Basra has to be shot in one go,” Dwivedi points out. “Basra is on and since this news comes from the producer and director, I have no reason to disbelieve it.”

With the producer playing a lead role too, isn’t he afraid of losing out on footage? “These were worries in the 1970s and ’80s. Now we work with a bound script. Besides, knowing the person Abhay is and given his choice of films, I can vouch for the fact that for him the film and his part in it, is all that matters,” Dwivedi argues.

He adds that Singh spent two years working on the script and he is passionate about it. “No way would he compromise on anything now.”But apparently, he wasn’t the first choice for the role. He got into the project only after Emraan Hashmi opted out. “I don’t mind being the 10th choice.

Sometimes dates don’t work out with actors, sometimes it is other considerations. Whatever the reason, if a role comes to me, it means that the people involved believe I can do it,” he retorts.

Besides this thriller, Dwivedi is also doing Ekta Kapoor’s Shor and Matric Pass that will be announced soon. Then, there’s Mani Ratnam’s Raavan in which he’s supppsedly playing Laxman to Vikram’s Ram (or Dev as his character is called).

“These are mere speculations, don’t draw parallels without seeing the film. I’m playing a real cop as Mani sir would say,” he smiles. Dwivedi remembers telling the director on the third day in the jungle that Raavan was a difficult film to shot. And Ratnam turned to him and said, “War films are difficult to shoot too.”

Working with Mani ‘sir’ was certainly a learning experience for the actor who’s still relatively new to this business. And Dwivedi says that just for the experience of being on the same set as him, he would have gladly played a tree.

Like Vikram, Abhishek and Aishwarya Bachchan, was he too approached for the Tamil version that was being shot simultaneously? “No, and I salute any actor who can emote in a language alien to him. That’s what made Vikram’s double role (he plays Dev in Hindi and Veera in Tamil) so impressive,” says Dwivedi.

His name does not figure on the film’s CD or other promotional material. The publicity around him too has been pretty muted Dwivedi is blissfully unconcerned. “Madras Talkies knows how to market a film and the actors in the best possible way,” he reasons.

“Ten years from now, when people see the film, they will not remember if I was in the promotion. All that they will see is the footage and if my performance is good that’s what they will remember.” Touche!

First Published: Apr 29, 2010 11:58 IST