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Writer Ashwini Dheer turns to direction

Ashwini Dheer, of Office Office fame, talks about U, Me Aur Hum's ‘Hollywood inspiration' and heroines waging war on the sets of One Two Three.
By Roshmila Bhattacharya | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON FEB 16, 2008 04:42 PM IST

His directorial debut One Two Three is a laugh-riot yet, going by reports, his three leading ladies - Esha Deol, Sameera Reddy and Tanishaa - have been at loggerheads and there's been a lot of crying and carping on the sets.

Quiz Ashwini Dheer about this and he reasons that there are bound to be some differences.

"Suniel Shetty, Tusshar Kapoor, Upen Patel and Paresh Rawal are drastically different from each other. But the girls are all targeting the same genre. So competition is intense," Dheer explains.

You wonder if the ‘differences' affected work and he assures you that his cast has been very supportive.

"This may be my first film as a director but I have been writing Office Office for eight years. Everyone has seen the show and had faith in my writing," Dheer beams.

What's in a name?
The film is a comedy of errors revolving around mistaken identity.

"Shakespeare had asked, ‘What's in a name?' I'd say plenty if three distinctly different people share the same name," Dheer points out.

His association with Halla Bol in the initial stages ("I quit later when I got busy with other projects and realised I was n't contributing much to the project") and U, Me Aur Hum helped forge a relationship with Ajay Devgan and Kumar Mangat.

"I went to them with this story that I wanted to direct and they immediately gave me the go ahead," he beams. Given that Pankaj Kapur was an integral part of his success story one is surprised to find his Office Office star conspicuously absent from the cast of One Two Three.

"I'd thought of Pankaj but he was too busy. Pareshji was keen on doing the role and since he's a good actor too we went ahead with him," Dheer explains.

He has two films as a writer coming up on the same day - Rakesh Roshan's Krazzy 4 and Ajay Devgan's directorial debut, U, Me Aur Hum.

"Both are very different films. While Krazzy 4 is loony entertainer, U, Me Aur Hum is the love story of a husband and wife with some light moments," he argues.

Director's cut
There's talk that the latter is inspired by the Hollywood hit, The Notebook?

"No, it's not a copy, it's completely original. Both the film and Ajay will surprise you. He's as good a director as he's an actor and that's saying a lot given that he's a two-time National Award winner," Dheer raves.

Now that he's graduated to movies will it be adieu to television?

"I'm producing a show on DD and one more will be starting on Star One soon. Then, there's Office Office which I'd like to believe reinvented RK Laxman's common man. It's very real and spoofs certain incidents which happened with me and around me," he points out.

Next up is another comedy with Mangat and one for Suniel Shetty's Popcorn Entertainment for which "we're just finalising the scripts."

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