Govinda has a double role in director Sikander Bharti’s Rangeela Raja and the actor — known for the No. 1 series of David Dhawan and other 90s rib-ticklers — believes the audience will love it. The film has not been cleared by the censors yet but Govinda is confident of its prospects. Excerpts from a chat:
How are you looking at your second innings? Do you miss the time when your films were blockbuster hits?
Govinda: Whatever goes up, comes down, that’s law of gravity and I have no regrets. I am glad that I sustained success for the last 33 years and still managed to survive as a hero. I don’t have big banners like Yash Raj supporting me. Even in those days, directors like Manmohan Desai threw me out. I did films that came my way and tried to give my best.
Do you feel that the era of comedy films are over, your films were known for their comedies?
I don’t know, but yes very few comedy films are being made. Maybe the audience tastes have changed but comedy is thriving on television these days. As far as films are concerned, people have become more business-minded and only think how much business their movies will make at the box office.
Has life changed with the times?
I don’t know how much I have changed but I think the audience can tell you that. They feel I am still very grounded. I am like a tree whose roots go deep into the earth. I have done enough for everyone and still managed to stay grounded. I have given strength to my family and borne all my responsibilities well. However, in this course I forgot to enjoy the stardom I got. Now I feel like going to parties and having a drink or two and enjoy my stardom. But then I worry that people will tell my grown-up children that I have gone wayward in my old age. My wife is not so modern that she will allow me to do all this. She has Indian values and she is childlike.
How is your relationship with director David Dhawan now?
Few people talk about the drift in our relationship. We are good to each other. Like Salman (Khan) is still and will always be a friend but we are not doing films together. When I signed Partner, Sohail Khan discussed the film with me. I was clear that Salman will play the lead and I the second lead. I was in politics and had put on a lot of weight. Salman had become a star by then. Sohail discussed it with Salman. The film did well. I don’t know why David Dhawan is angry, I tried making amends but I don’t know what went wrong.
Varun Dhawan loves you and always praises you?
He has been a great kid. He is exploring himself and is doing well for himself.
Do you want to learn new dance forms?
I want to. I might take up something new.
Who are your favourites among the heroines you have worked with?
My personal favourite is Madhuri Dixit, Raveena Tandon, Neelam, we did a lot of films together. I couldn’t work with Madhuri much. I loved Sridevi and respected her a lot but never got a chance to work with her.
Ranveer Singh is your fan and often speaks about you, are you friends now?
Ranveer is the next superstar. He works very hard and is highly talented. I had worked with him on Kill Dil. We met on the sets for the first time. I haven’t met him much after that movie. I felt good when I came to know that he loves my work. Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone remind me of Dharmendra and Hema Malini. I loved him in Ram Leela. I could not watch the climax scene where they die.