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Kunal Khemu is testing the waters

After delivering an acclaimed power-packed performance in Kalyug, the talented Kunal Khemu has returned with Madhur Bhandarkar's latest Traffic Signal. In a candid chat with Avantika Kukreti, the young actor talks about his film, which hits the theatres today. Movie stillsNeetu speaks

india Updated: Feb 02, 2007, 18:20 IST
Avantika Sushil
Avantika Sushil

After giving a power-packed performance in Kalyug, Kunal Khemu returns with Madhur Bhandarkar's Traffic Signal. In a candid chat, he talks about the film which hits the theatres today.

Traffic Signal comes after your much-appreciated performance in Kalyug. The expectations must be very high this time around.
Yes, its great that people appreciated my performance in Kalyug. Definitely the expectations are high. I hope I don’t let them down this time and people like my performance in this film as well.

In a way its good that people expect you do well as it makes you to work doubly hard. Even when I did Zakhm there were a lot of expectations from everyone. I hope I do well.
You have a very realistic look in the film. What kind of preparations did you make for it?
I play a boy called Silsila in the film who has grown up on the streets. For him the Signal is his workplace and a home where he lived. He’s a street leader and manages a small group of people at the traffic signal—a middleman between the beggars and the local Mafioso.

Working on the looks was not that difficult though. We have tried to give Silsila a stylish as well as a realistic look. Since he’s the leader of the gang he had to be a liitle stylish and full of attitude. For that we bought a lot of accessories from the streets of Mumbai.

How was it working with Madhur Bhandarkar?
It was a great experience. I really feel honoured to have worked with a fine director like him.

In Kalyug I worked with Mohit Suri, who’s my close pal. So, working with Madhur was a totally different experience. Madhur has a very different approach towards his work. He’s the kind of director who gives his actors a lot of freedom to experiment and improvise.

What are your next projects that you’re working on?
Right now, I’ve just wrapped up shooting for Priyadarshan’s Dhol, which is an out-an-out comedy.  I’m waiting for Traffic Signal to hit the theatres.

Being a newcomer how does it feel to work with biggies like Madhur Bhandarkar and Priyardarshan?
Honestly speaking, it’s really an honour to work with such fine directors. I hope I match their expectations.

Both your films have you play a very serious character. Any masala movie in the offing?
I would love to do a film like that. In fact Dhol is a comedy film and it’s very different from what I’ve done so far.  I would, however, like to do different genres of films instead of doing repetitive stuff. Frankly speaking I'm still testing the waters and would love to do lots of good work.

Traffic Signal releases today. Do you feel nervous?
I won’t say that I’m nervous. I’m really excited, as I myself have to watch the film. I didn’t get the time to see the film as I was shooting for Dhol.

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