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‘I hate having my cheeks pulled’

Deven Bhojani on Baa Bahoo.., reality shows and his popularity among children, interviewed by Janaki Viswanathan.

tv Updated: Jun 28, 2008 15:05 IST
Janaki Viswanathan

Your caller tune is Pehla nasha.. still not over your first film?
(Laughs) Yeah, I’m really fond of the song, and still happy to be associated with Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar.

So why no more movies?
Who has the time? I’m shuttling between my weekly shows, Baa Bahoo aur Baby and Remote Control, which returns to 9X as a one-hour weekly in August. We’re also working on the script for Khichdi’s film version.

Speaking of Baa Bahoo aur Baby, where has Gattu vanished?
He was left behind at the resort. Don’t worry, he’ll be fine. There will be emotional scenes when the family realises he is missing. But they will be laced with humour.

As a child, did you ever get lost?
No. Unlike producers who draw inspiration from real life.. reality and all.. Baa Bahoo.. is pure fiction.

From Karima in Dekh Bhai Dekh to Gattu in Baa Bahoo aur Baby.. haven’t you got typecast?
I have. But I know very few actors who can be funny. (Smiles) That’s probably why producers keep casting me in comic roles. They don’t have much choice. I’d like to do a negative role now.

You couldn’t play Supriya Pathak’s husband in Khichdi because you looked too young. Now you play husband-wife in Remote Control.
We played our age in Khichdi. J D (Majethia) and Aatish (Kapadia) felt I looked too young. But in Remote Control, we play older characters so we fit in perfectly.

The re-runs of Sarabhai versus Sarabhai get more TRPs than some of Star One’s shows.. thinking of another season?
(Laughs) Thanks for giving me that information. But I don’t think another season is possible. The cast has scattered. Also, Aatish isn’t free to write and I refuse to direct unless he scripts the show.

Hats Off Productions was working on a reality show.. when will it take off?
We’re still working on the concept.

Isn’t there an overdose already?
There is. Initially, I would watch Indian Idol, Nach Baliye and Bigg Boss—they were a novelty. But now they have all started looking like replicas of each other.

Were you not offered any?
Three: Jhalak Dikhhlaa Jaa, Comedy Circus and Jjhoom India. I didn’t take up any because of time constraints.

Do fans still pull your cheeks?
Yeah, kids say, “Kya Gattu, kaisa hai?”.. and punch me hard in the stomach. I can understand a child behaving like that, but when adults pull my cheeks too, it’s annoying. I wish they would behave with more dignity. After all, I’m an actor, not Gattu.

Do your daughters like Gattu?
They adore him. I was recently invited to their school. When I went up on stage, the kids cheered loudly. My two little girls were so proud, they told everyone, “That’s our father!” At times when I drop them at the bus stop, other children call out to me and my daughters snap back, “He’s not Gattu, he’s our dad.”