September 17, 2008
Sudhir to Act Opposite Soha
By SUBHASH K JHA
Move over Neil Nitin Mukesh. Your director, Sudhir Mishra, is vying for the top casting honours in Tera Kya Hoga Johnny.
Barely had we gotten over the surprise of Sudhir Mishra casting a real street-boy from Kolkata in the central role of Johnny, when he springs another surprise. Sudhir is set to play one of the leads in Tera Kya Hoga Johnny. Says Sudhir, "I never cease to surprise myself."
Sudhir has cast himself opposite one of his favourite actresses Soha Ali Khan, though we don't see his face. Explains Sudhir, "It is one of the episodes in the film. I play one of those powerful forces in Mumbai that determine the way the city's aspirants' and dreamers' lives go. I play the messiah, sugar daddy, star-maker in Soha's life. But you never see my face. Throughout the film I'm in silhouette or caught from the back. A lot of the time I'm just a voice on the phone. I couldn't think of anyone else for the role. The idea is to make the power-brokers of Mumbai shadowy, unnamed, and unattainable."
The last time a leading actor played a role without showing his face was Dharmendra in Khamoshi, 40 years ago. "I wouldn't even go there," dead-pans the new pancake purveyor of Bollywood, who, by his own admission, gave a terrible performance as a ganglord in Madhur Bhandarkar's Traffic Signal. "Why do you think I don't show my face in Tera Kya Hoga Johnny?" he says.
The film is now complete. "There were two days of re-shooting to do with Neil Nitin Mukesh which he promptly did before leaving for the US. Now I'm done."
Sudhir wanted the Pakistani rocker, Ali Azmat (former member of the band Junoon) to sing two of the songs in the film. It wasn't difficult getting him down. Sudhir said that he had great fun doing the music of Tera Kya Hoga Johnny. "Every episode has the music that suits the characters. If we're talking about the music that the street-boy Johnny likes, it has to be pulpy and filmi."
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