Bollywood actor Mithun Chakraborty takes the judge’s seat in Dance India Dance and teaches Roshmila Bhattacharya a step or two...
In just a couple of weeks Dance India Dance has made it to the top 10 list.
(Beaming) Yeah, in just three weeks, it’s the reality show with the highest TRPs.
What would you say is its USP?
Honesty. I can assure you there will be no drama for TRPs, not when I’m there.
You’re also judging a dance reality show on Zee Bangla...
(Cuts in) Dance Bangla Dance has been running successfully for three years. We’re into the fourth season. But Dance India Dance is very different. And it will get me national exposure on television.
Of course, Bengal has a huge audience too. And thanks to Zee, my show has reached out to people across the world.. it’s airing in 164 countries.
You started out hosting a musical talent hunt for the ‘Golden Voice’.
(Smiles) I didn’t have much choice then but my forte has always been dance.
Will we see you shake a leg on the show?
You’ll have to wait and watch to know that.
Haven’t the moves changed since you were the Disco Dancer of the 1980s?
Yes, the steps have changed.. so have the names. Young people today are dancing the Salsa and the Samba. Our dances have become more contemporary.. more international. But for them to appeal they still need some Indian spice.
Do contestants still try to woo you with Mithun-style pelvic thrusts?
(Smiles) Of course, I’m Pelvic Presley, remember?
I’m told you’re getting big money for this show?
(Smiles again) Huge! And why not, since I’ll be investing so much time, energy and effort in it. But it isn’t just about money. I’ve been getting offers from several channels for different kinds of shows. But for me what’s important is involvement and interaction.
Dance Bangla Dance is such a big draw because the producer, director, participants and I have all contributed to it. Similarly, for Dance India Dance every girl and boy sits together and gives his or her inputs. I listen to them.. they listen to me. I don’t like being just a visitor on the sets.
How would you rate the participants in comparison to the talent on show in Dance Bangla Dance?
Bengal has terrific talent but Dance India Dance too has thrown up some amazing dancers too. Some of the moves are just unimaginable!
Many star-oriented shows including Shah Rukh Khan’s Kya Aap Panchvi Paas Se Tez Hain haven’t done well. Does that make you apprehensive?
My shows are not about Mithun Chakraborty, the star. Viewers connect with their Mithun da. Boogie Woogie.. Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa..Nach Baliye. (Interrupts) Please, I don’t want to be drawn into any comparisons. I’ve seen them and they are all good.
Will your son, Mimoh come on the show as a guest?
I don’t know, may be, someday.
What is your take on the other judges — Terrance Lewis, Geeta Kapur and Remo?
They are fantastic but they are the masters. I am the only judge on Dance India Dance.
Will we see you in a soap next?
Why not? But at the moment I’m so busy with my shows and films — Hindi and Bengali — I just don’t have the dates for anything else.
Madhur Bhandarkar wanted you in his next film, Jail, but you have turned down the offer.
I would have liked to work with Madhur. He’s a National Award winning director who has made some great films. But I didn’t have the dates.
Is lack of dates the reason why after Guru you’re not in Mani Ratnam’s next movie, Ravan?
Mani didn’t come to me for Ravan. He doesn’t stick to one actor.. he works with everyone. When he has another good role, he’ll come back.
Buzz is that Buddhadeb Dasgupta wants you in his next project?
Buddhada offered me his last film too. Again no dates!
What went wrong with Chandni Chowk To China?
Luck wasn’t on our side. Otherwise Nikhil (director Nikhil Advani), Akshay (Kumar) and I had worked really hard. But Heroes made an impression. Friends and fans say that the scene where I’m talking to my son left them emotionally choked.
You are in Soham Shah’s Luck as well.
(Smiles) Yes, it’s a masala entertainer. You will once again see Mithun in an action role.
Will you be a part of ICL Season Two?
Of course, I’m a stakeholder.
And will your Royal Bengal Tigers roar as loudly as Shah Rukh Khan’s Knight Riders promise this season?
We reached the semi-finals in Season One. Next time, we’ll aim higher.