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Switching gears with ease

He has run the entire gamut of entertainment business, both in front and now, behind and camera. But Milind leads life as per his choice. And will.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2003 22:05 IST

Life certainly couldn't be termed cyclical for swimmer-turned-model-turned TV actor-turned television producer-turned film actor and now turned film producer Milind Soman! Whew, that's a lot of turns indeed! But that's the way Soman likes to lead life. "I think it has something to do with quitting while I am still at the top." And this time around he hasn't quit acting but he has moved on nonetheless. Soman has just completed his first film as producer, Rules: Pyar Ka Superhit Formula directed by Parvati Balagopalan (who alongwith Soman has produced television software, including directing the serial Margarita), which is locked for a June 20 release.

For Soman turning producer seemed an obvious choice, since "there are not enough interesting films being made today and not enough roles are being explored by the makers. And it is not as if there aren't stories waiting to be told. There are directors, actors and writers to make good cinema but they don't want to explore avenues. Everyone for some strange reason wants to work with the same people over and again. I don't understand why."

So that's one only of the reasons why Soman became producer. But he denies it had anything to do with the fact that critics have repeatedly run him down as an actor or that he wasn't good enough. "Flak doesn't matter to me. I got a Screen Award nomination for my role of Aravasu in Agnivarsha. I don't need to say or prove anything after that. I mean, its not like I paid Screen to give me a nomination!"

He has a point there, and there's a merit too in the fact that in the past, Soman has invariably quit after the going has gotten boring. "I quit swimming after winning the National Championship for four years straight. I realized that I didn't have competition and couldn't be motivated thereafter to give it my best. I was slated to go for Marine Engineering and Scuba Diving but I left it to join modelling and then left that after becoming a Supermodel. I've moved to production now, because there aren't interesting enough roles happening."

As a producer Soman is looking at reaching out to a specific target audience, depending on the subject of his film. Rules is a simple story about a young girl in love with a model, who incidentally has a girlfriend (played by Namrata Barua). So, when this young girl gets rejected, her grandmother (Tanuja) tells her to play the game by the rules, assuring her that she will get the man of her dreams that way, for after all attraction is only a game. Sounds familiar? Soman clarifies that doubt as well. "The characterization maybe similar but Rules is not based on previous Bollywood films Love in Simla or even Guddi. It, in fact, takes its inspiration from quick Bestsellers like Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and magazines like Cosmopolitan which say that there is a definite subliminal coding to human behaviour. And there are formulas, which provide successful relationships. Our film examines whether these set formulas work at all? Are they valid in relationships and can you really manipulate human behaviour? Rules: Pyar Ka Superhit Formula explores all these myths."

Frankly speaking, Soman's first film does sound like thought has gone into the theme of the film. Whether it shall translate into sound treatment as well, remains to be seen. But a beginning has been made and chances are the risk taken may be worth it. As for Soman, he will continue to act too, "but only in roles which will be interesting, but not necessarily in all my productions. If there are other actors better suited to the role in question, he will be offered it first."

Fair dealing one would call that from a man of many turns, who once more issues a denial on whether more turns await him in future. If acting-production combine doesn't work, will it be turned director then? "I seriously don't know," he laughs loudly. One can only hope he doesn't get bored enough of all the limelight to quit it all irrespective of what turn forces life to take.

First Published: Jun 18, 2003 22:05 IST