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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

'Hansika was treated harshly'

'Composer-Singer' Himesh Reshammiya is a thing of the past. The now-successful leading man of Aap Ka Surroor will now have 'actor-composer-singer' on his calling-card.

That's right. Himesh will only let his music be heard in films that feature him in the lead.

"I've several offers as a leading man. But I'll only be doing three films a year per year. And since I'll be doing such sparing work as an actor I might as well restrict my music to my own films. If I do music for outside films then the USP of my acting vehicles will be lost.

I don't want to cheat the producers who'll sign me. I'm now going to represent a never-before package of music-singing-acting. My next music score will be for my next starring vehicle, 8-10 months from now."

In the meantime Himesh might do a non-film album. "I think my minimized exposure will enhance the prospects of all the three films that I'll sign as an actor."

Isn't he scared that once he is out of sight-and-sound he'll be out of mind? "Certainly not! Once you reach that certain level of success, less becomes more. Earlier when I was finding my way in the entertainment business I needed 30-40 assignments. Now, just 3 is enough."

Himesh is enthused like never before. "Even those who thought my acting career was doomed have changed their minds. I don't blame them. My journey from composer to singer to acting has been odd."

Suddenly Himesh is being called a superstar.

"The boxoffice is very powerful parameter of stardom. I'll continue to treat my acting career like I did my singing and composing careers…. like a newcomer. If I start thinking of myself as a brand I'll be finished.

Though the critics have been harsh on his acting debut Aap Ka Surroor is doing roaring business everywhere. It's so far the biggest hit of the year. There're at least 8-10 film offers from the biggest banners of the country.

"I don't know how it happened. But now that God has been kind I've much more to strive for. I see a long struggle ahead. I had faith in my fan base. When I did my shows and my music videos they always warmed up to my screen presence. So I had an inner belief they'd come and watch me.Thankfully I was right."

Himesh is disturbed by the critical backlash. "My consolation is that they had ripped Sholay and Hum Aapke Hain Koun on release. And when my music in Aashiq Banaya Aapne came out they blasted me. They said this nasal voice cannot be the typical Bollywood hero's voice.

But my unconventional voice became the convention. Aashiq Banaya Aapne turned my fortunes as a musician. Aap Ka Surroor has taken me to another phase in my career. After the backlash they even gave me awards for my singing. Am I expecting acting awards ? Not at all."

Himesh is determined to win over the critics in his next acting vehicle. "But not at the cost of the commercial success. Like my music in Varanasi was appreciated by the critics. But it failed commercially. I want both."

He refuses to admit that Aap Ka Surroor was a hit solely for him. "Nahin! If everything else didn't work the film wouldn't. My director Prashant Chedha did a fantastic job. But the critics were really hard on him. I'm already planning a sequel to Surroor with Prashant.

As for leading lady Hansika I don't know why she was treated so harshly. The film has to be viewed in the right spirit. It's meant to entertain, not bring a revolution to society."

He sighs, "God has been kind. I can't say the same about my critics. First they predicted that no one would go to see me act. Then they predicted that there would be no takers after Monday. Then when there was no drop in collection they're saying Surroor is a fluke success, that when I don't play Himesh I'll be a flop.

Now I'll be playing other characters. I've lots of offers to act, and in none of them will I play myself. I'll give the same passion to my acting as I did to my singing."

Himesh is now being called the common man's hero. "That one-to-one connection I've made with my audience is divine intervention. I've come so far only because of my fan base."

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