It is not very often that you see Riteish Deshmukh give interviews and not crack a joke, and the reason is that when he gave this exclusive he was down with a viral infection, cold and flu. But as promised, he did not turn his back like many others and came to promote his first world wide tour, The Unforgettable Tour, along with his fellow co-stars, the Bachchans and Preity Zinta in Mumbai last Friday. One of the very few bankable stars of today, this actor has a habit of delivering his best even when he is at his worst, be it on the big screen, live on the stage or in this quick chat with Bollywood Hungama's Devansh Patel.
What happened to your voice? It's sounding a bit hoarse?
I'm not well yaar! Down with a viral and shooting, rehearsals and no time to rest.
Anyway, then let's quickly finish this interview. Don't you feel that you are the odd one out from all your colleagues? Will you be providing that added masti in the tour?
Odd one out, I don't know. But it's a good mixture right from the senior stars like Amitabh Bachchan, to younger stars like Abhishek and me and you have immense popularity of Aishwarya Rai all over and Preity Zinta who has been around for a long time now. So you can say I'm the odd one out because I'm the youngest. But overall, it should be fun because the kind of songs I'm going to perform are also the kind of image I have.
Are you going to start off the tour by dancing on Bluffmaster's 'bure bure hum hum hum shaitan, zaara zaara bachna re humse'?
(laughs). Wow! That's a good suggestion. But I am sure if I'll be doing this number, I'll put in as much of enthusiasm as I can.
As an actor, you've played more mischief than any of your co-stars have, except Mr Bachchan, but are we going to see some serious moves this time around?
You know, I'm trying to do different stuff where primarily I'm doing Aladin which is not a comedy. Then I move on to a more romantic side of me after my first film. So trying to venture out in romance after a long time. And comedies will keep on being an integral part of my career. As far as the tour is concerned, I am going to be seriously different. Wait and watch!
From the entire Unforgettablt gang, you've only managed to shake a leg with Abhishek Bachchan. Tell us something about this bluffmaster. How good is he?
He is just fantastic. He has got his own style. The Abhishek fan following that started since 'Dus Bahane' and 'Right Here Right Now' was because he brought in that coolness which no other actor got in Hindi films. This good looking, tall guy rapping songs and having great screen presence became a cult. Then he goes mad on the stage and I'm looking forward to this madness.
How difficult was it to train under the perfectionist called Shiamak Davar?
You are right. Shiamak is a perfectionist. The best part about it is that he designs songs for the actors and he knows. He won't give a difficult step but steps that will look good on the actor. You have to see it to believe it. He likes doing different things everytime he is on stage with his actors and The Unforgettable Tour will prove exactly that.
Are you going to spike your hair? And what sort of different and funny costumes we are going to see you in?
Loads of costumes yaar! My designer for this tour is Shiraz. Stage costumes are very different. There is not going to be a normal shirt. There'll be shine and glitter and you'll not dare think of wearing such costumes out on the road. As far as my hair is concerned, I'll be definitely spiking my hair and doing all sorts of different hair styles, cutting my hair and colouring it. Plus, for 45 days, I'm not committed for any films I've signed and thus I'm not bothered about my hairdo.
You were last seen in London at the Zee Cine Awards 2008 which took place at the Excel Docklands. O2 centre is ten times bigger than Excel Docklands. Having said that, only Elton John and Madonna have managed to fill up the arena so far. Will this tour achieve the impossible?
As I said, I'm the new one here. This is my first world wide tour. I had no idea about how big the arena was and we were not informed about that, how was it going to be filled up, etc. I'm sure Wizcraft must have come up with some sort of planning regarding that. I'm just glad to be performing where famous international celebrities have performed before.
Are you going to perform solo on the stage or will it be with other stars?Ofcourse I am going to perform solo on stage. My entire first act is a solo act with all the songs from the films I've been a part of. There are only portions of me where I come in contact with other actors. So it's a great mix.
Which song would you prefer dancing to alone on stage?
Lots of yaar! There are songs from Cash, Heyy Babyy, songs like 'Dil Mein Bajee Guitar', etc.
Do you feel proud of the fact that you are a part of this tour or do you feel like you are just a part of it?
As a child, I never thought that I'd be an actor. Now that was past. I am here in front of you and that is the present. Being an actor and then going on a world tour is another unbelievable thing and then being a part of the tour that is headed by Mr Amitabh Bachchan and friends like Abhishek, Aishwarya, Preity and Akshay with whom I'vw worked in my last film Heyy Babyy is another. Then there is Madhuri Dixit. What can I say about her? I have been a huge fan of her since I was a kid and used to have a huge crush on her. So as the title suggests, all this is going to be just Unforgettable. And to answer your question, I do feel proud.
Your female fans will be desperate to see you perform and act on stage. But will you reciprocate to them by singing and dancing to 'Ae Chori, zara nachke dikha' from Cash?
(laughs) Ofcourse, I'd love to start off by saying that. That's going to be one of the songs I'm performing on. Look out girls!
You've travelled to many cities around the world with your films. Where are you most looking forward to perform?
I think, London. London for sure because it's a place where there are not only lots of Indians but even non Indian people in the form of Bangladeshi's and Pakistani's who love our films and songs and give us their undying love and support. I've performed once in London with Salman and Shahrukh. Obviously, the crowd came to see SRK and Salman but to be a part and feel the response was truly great. That was a few years ago. But as you said that O2 centre is ten times bigger, I hope this show too is ten times bigger than all the shows taken place there.
Any message for all your London fans then?
Well, all I can say is, get ready for full on dhamaal and masti.