From being a comical hero to playing a villain in Kill Dil, actor Govinda talks about his home production and reinventing himself
hIS career has spanned more than 150 films, many of which catapulted him to superstar status. Govinda, hero of the late 80s and 90s, seen in films such as Shola Aur Shabnam, Coolie No 1, Hero No 1, etc, was a star despite his portly frame, outlandish costumes and over-the-top dance moves. The youngest of six children, life has been no bed of roses for the 50-year-old actor. On the eve of the release of two films, a slimmer, calmer Govinda is excited about a new phase in his career.
How difficult has it been to reinvent and stay relevant?
I have had to work hard, but it was interesting. I have always had my mom’s blessings and god has guided me through a great many trials. After I became a hero I had to look after my home and extended family. Anyway, I found success till around 1991-92. Politics followed in the mid 2000s and even when I did films, they did not release or if they did release, they were not very successful. But now the reactions and praises for Kill Dil and Happy Ending are encouraging. I enjoyed playing the villain in Kill Dil, even though at first I was not sure I would be able to pull it off!
In the current filmmaking scenario, have you had to work on your punctuality?
When I used to reach Mani Ratnam’s set (Raavan) at 4 am, how come no one wrote about it? I would reach at 4 am even though my shot would not be till 11 am. And now that I am also a producer, I do have to be on time to lead by example. Today’s actors and directors are all very good, very hard working and well planned.
Tell us about your home production.
When I started Abhinay Chakra, it was a very small budget film. I play an inspector in it. But when I saw the rushes, I thought it has turned out well why not make it bigger. For me, it’s not about good or bad cinema—the film must work and make money. So I decided to shoot some more. I think it has shaped up well and people are wishing to see Govinda like this. But then again, you don’t know what people want. Look at Kill Dil —I didn’t expect such overwhelming response. I am not competing with, but complementing youngsters, like Saif Ali Khan in Happy Ending. I am there for a short time, but people laugh and enjoy it and that works for me. Kill Dil is scheduled to release on November 14.
— Udita Jhunjhunwala