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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Viveik Oberoi wanted my role

It almost didn't happen for the first debutant of 2008.

Nikhil Diwedi was almost ousted from his debut film My Name Is Anthony Gonzalves when the corporate house which director E Niwas approached to produce the film, insisted the director work with Viveik Oberoi instead of the newcomer.

When confronted with this historical trivia on the destiny of his debut Diwedi demurs. "I wouldn't like to name anyone.

But an actor who was very hot and happening a few years ago did want to do My Name Is Anthony Gonzalves. My director Niwas was very clear that the script would only work with a newcomer, and that too me.

He threw all caution to the winds and decided to produce Anthony on his own along with Sahara One," divulges Diwedi who claims to be a diehard Bachchan fan.

"I remember as a child watching Mr Bachchan in Suhaag. Today it's a coincidence that my debut film gets its title from a popular song in a film featuring with Mr Bachchan. That isn't all. No one knows this.

But I was actually supposed to make my debut with a small role that E Niwas had offered me in an Aftab Shivdasani-Esha Deol romance called Jaane Kaise Kab Kahan, again a song from a Bachchan flick.

I love that title, and I've asked Niwas to give it to me for a future film," gushes the newcomer who claims to be finely- tuned to every detail about Hindi cinema.

Fortunately for Nikhil, he desisted from playing the bit role of Esha's fiancé in the shelved film."What has to happen, will happen," philolosophizes the youngster with oodles of confidence.

Nikhil plays a bartender and a Bollywood struggler in My Name Is Anthony Gonzalves. He's all praise for his co-star Amrita Rao.

"Five years have passed since she came into the industry. Even today Amrita's hunger and anxiety to excel in every shot remains unchanged. I like that. Somewhere I too want to be insecure even after 25 films."

In fact Nikhil has already got three more films in his kitty. "One is a remake of Rahul Rawail's 1978 Sunny Deol starrer Arjun which Shivum Nair is directing and Anurag Kashyap is writing."

The original film about an unemployed youth being sucked politics and corruption is no longer valid. Kashyap is re-writing the script for Nikhil Diwedi.

"Unemployment is no longer a burning issue," opines Nikhil. "Today with so many avenues of work for youngsters like call centers, I think Arjun needed a new interpretation. Besides Arjun I have two other films to be produced by K Sera Sera and Sahara One."

Nikhil Diwedi seems to have found the most appropriate godfather in Shah Rukh Khan who apparently has taken the newcomer under his wing.

Nikhil apparently hangs around Khan quite often.

Surprisingly the debutant pooh-poohs the sugar-daddy theory. "I think too much has been made of Shah Rukh's interest in my career.

It isn't even a fraction of what it's made out to be. Sure his company Red Chillies is the line producer of My Name Is Anthony Gonzalves. But that's because he believed in the project Beyond that, Shah Rukh's interest in me and my career is, I think,reasonable and very sweet.

He did release the music of my film. Wouldn't he do that for any newcomer who requests him to?"

Clearly this newcomer has his act together. "I'm aware that 2007 had a large number of commendable male newcomers. Should I be happy to be coming in 2008 ? I don't think so. Every film and actor have their own destiny.

How I'm accepted by audiences doesn't depend on the competition but my intrinsic merits.I'll survive not because of competition or Shah Rukh's backing but only if audiences approve of me"

That we shall find out on Jan 11 when My Name Is Anthony Gonzalves releases.

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