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May 22, 2009 - Source: screenindia

With his Shaukeen remake set to take off, Kaante 2 to go on the floors, and his Bengali film Pa Ma Ga Re Sa complete, actor-director Rohit Roy has an exciting year ahead

Rohit Roy has just returned from Shillong, having wrapped up the shoot for his debut Bengali film Pa Ma Ga Re Sa opposite Reshmi Ghosh, best known for her role as Bhumi in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Gauri Karnik (Sur). Loosely based on Hrishikesh Mukerji’s Abhimaan, the film has Rohit playing a rock-star with “shades of Amitji’s character”. The film is scheduled for an August release and according to Rohit, “It will change the face of Bengali cinema”. A tall claim indeed!

If Pa Ma Ga Re Sa is adapted from Abhimaan, his own forthcoming directorial venture is based on the ’80s superhit film Shaukeen. “Bunty Behl(producer) has taken the rights from Basu Chatterjee. We will be tweaking the storyline and contemporarising it to make it bigger and grander, though the seed of the original will remain,” informs Rohit, who wants to cast Rishi Kapoor, Boman Irani and Naseeruddin Shah in the roles of Utpal Dutt, Ashok Kumar and A. K. Hangal who were in the original. “This is my wish-list, but I have yet to approach them,” he clarifies. However, it won’t be difficult for the actor-turned-director to get a nod from the veterans. Shah has already acted in his Rice Plate, while Kapoor and Irani are “dear friends.” The biggest hurdle for him is finding a girl to play Rati Agnihotri’s role. “The girl has to be sweet and innocent yet alluring. Most of the heroines today have set images. When Ratiji did the role, she was known as the girl-next-door,” points out Rohit.

The film will be set in Las Vegas. “Las Vegas is the destination of the rich and famous. People go there to gamble and sin.” Another option he has in mind is Macau, which is “still a fairly virgin location”.

Interestingly, his directorial ventures, which include Rice Plate and Shaukeen are adapted from other films. “I feel there are some gems in Hindi and world cinema that people must see. Rice Plate, however, was adapted from a short story, but later I got to know there was a similar film. I am a huge fan of Woody Allen and wanted to make a film based on his Matchpoint, but when I learnt that Kites had a similar storyline, I shelved it.” He is now all geared up to direct the sequel to Kaante. “It will be my first action film. I know there will be comparisions, but I love challenges,” he says confidently.

After his outing as an actor in Don Muthuswamy, Rohit will now be seen in Jagmohan Mundhra’s The Apartment, a psychological thriller starring Neetu Chandra and Tanushree Dutta. “It’s about a bunch of people sharing an apartment knowing that there is a potentially harmful person amongst them. If I say more I will be giving away the plot,” grins Rohit. Mittal Vs Mittal opposite Rituparna Sengupta that deals with the subject of domestic violence and marital rape is finally set to release this July. There’s Alibag, which got delayed due to problems between Sanjay Dutt and director Sanjay Gupta. Irrfan Khan stepped into Sanjay’s role and his scenes had to be re-shot. The film will be completed in the next couple of months.

Besides films, Rohit is also busy producing television shows. His latest venture includes 10 short 75-minute films, which he is contracted to make for Zoom. He has already shot seven of them. “It is as good as making a full-length feature film,” sighs Rohit, who has directed and acted in a couple of them. Ek Din Achanak, a thriller, has him playing husband to his real wife Manasi. “It’s a story of a woman wronged by her husband and I play second fiddle to her,” he says tongue-in-cheek. Chaar Mulaqatein has Mona Singh as his co-star. They met on the sets of Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa as co-hosts and shared a great chemistry. “She was a natural and had a lot of warmth,” he smiles. As for Shweta Tiwari, his current co-host, she is a professional “but it is after my entry (replaced Shiv Pandit) that the TRPs have increased,” he says without a pretence at modesty. That’s Rohit for you, ever cheeky and cocky!