A ‘Housefull’ of Stars
The third installment in the Housefull franchise promises to offer triple the fun, laughter and entertainment. Housefull 3 will feature regulars Akshay Kumar, Riteish Deshmukh, Jacqueline Fernandez alongwith new entrants Lisa Haydon, Nargis Fakhri and Abhishek Bachchan.
In a chat with Pandolin, Jacqueline and Lisa talk about their experience of being part of this laugh riot and getting their comic timing right while Riteish discusses his affinity for comedy films, challenges as an actor and more.
Why did you wish to be part of Housefull 3?
Housefull has been a very special franchise. For me this was the first time that I was actually part of a franchise from the beginning and even though I was just the item girl in Housefull 1, I have a sentimental value with it. Doing Housefull 3 is just like a family franchise. It’s the kind of comedy as well where you can get away with doing anything. Because people know that the characters are very outlandish and the situations are extremely absurd and hilarious. And I wanted to be able to explore that comedy. Even though I had the opportunity in Housefull 2, I was too new to it then, so this time I definitely wanted to explore it further.
How was it teaming up with Akshay Kumar once again?
It was amazing. He is someone you can work with over a 100 times and still learn something everyday. He’s fun to work with and in Housefull 3 he went mad. Just watching him and what he goes through to make people laugh is really amazing.
You’ve been part of several multi-starrers. Given a choice what do you prefer, a multi starrer or solo lead film?
I’ve done so many multi-starrers and have been very comfortable and happy doing them . I feel that it’s about the character you play and what you do with it. You can stand out, you can have fun, you can learn, it’s the same thing like being in a solo film. You are still giving your performance and people will watch it and comment about it. But of course I think that you need to be able to balance both. In solo (films) there is definitely a lot more work, a lot more screen time and more energy that you’ve to give into it. But in multi-starrers like Housefull, you learn so much. And you also get the opportunity to bond with so many actors.
Tell us about your role in Housefull 3 and what drew you towards it?
My role is that of a posh, well bred English girl. We are three sisters and our father believes that we are very sanskaari (cultured) girls. There’s a bad omen in our family that if we get married something bad will happen, so we promise our father that we’ll never get married So we oscillate between being these wild, fun characters who enjoy life and at the same time we become very virtuous when we go home. I play a wax carver at Madame Tussaud.
It was the fun factor that drew me towards it (the film and the role). The combination of us three girls is a nice, fresh casting idea. When you’re doing a commercial comedy, a family film, like this, you’re guaranteed to have a good time. I feel that in this genre of cinema, Sajid Nadiadwala (Producer) has brought the best people together, best writers, directors and great casts. So all the elements put together work really nicely for me. Also I haven’t done a movie with an ensemble cast like this. So this was the first of it kind and was new and exciting.
How does it feel to be a part of the such a successful franchise?
It feels great because it’s a film that people love so much and has done well.
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How easy or challenging was it for you to get your comic timing right?
I feel like comic timing is very intuitive. It’s very much on the spot. You need to be in the present moment and then react to everything as if it’s the first time that you’re hearing it. So in that sense, more than planning your timing it’s an innate sense that you pick up. Riteish (Deshmukh)’s timing is fantastic and I hope that our chemistry and timings together comes off nicely.
You have done a lot of comedy films. How is the Housefull franchise different from the others?
When you’re doing a franchise you don’t move from the basic structure of the film. So for example, the Dhoom franchise will have a thief, it will have action and there will be a new plot or event. In Housefull, apart from a few characters, every character keeps changing. But the formula is the same. There will always be an issue which is love-based, and the family gets involved and they need to be convinced. This time money is also involved and eventually all this leads to confusion which leads to comic situations.
Masti is an adult comedy but Housefull has humor that caters to kids also.The other comedy that I’ve done is Dhamaal, which is more of a physical or slapstick comedy. So in the broader perspective we think that all comedies are the same but at least for myself I try to segregate them. So if I’m doing Dhamaal, my body language will be much louder that a Housefull.
As an actor what is the most challenging and interesting role for you?
I started off with a romantic film. Then I went on to do comedies. When I debuted in 2003, that period was not favorable for newcomers because every production house was working only with established actors. I somehow bagged Masti and it did well. The makers of Kya Kool Hai Hum also signed me and both the films were hits. RGV Ram Gopal Varma) signed me for Naach, which was different. But I got a lot of opportunities to work in comedy. There were different types of comedies, Bluffmaster was an urban comedy while films like Malamaal Weekly and Apna Sapna Money Money were also different.
I then did Lai Bhaari which was very different from what I had done and it did really well. And I’m glad that things have changed. Whenever I got a chance to do something, I’ve tried that and enjoyed it. As an actor I realized that I just enjoying doing movies and I’m not restricted to only doing comedy, which I thoroughly enjoy, but I enjoyed Ek Villain as much as Housefull. If I like the story, I’m willing to play any character.
You did Lai Bhaari and have been producing Marathi films too. What are your future goals in Marathi cinema?
My next Marathi film called Mauli that is directed by Nishikant Kamat. The theme is more or less similar to Lai Bhaari. Another film that I’m producing will be announced soon. Acclaimed Marathi director Ravi Jadhav is directing my next film Banjo. Also, we’ve almost locked the script and by the end of the year we might start Chhatrapati Shivaji.
Transcribed by Kiran Dave