Aladin (more photos, videos, songs)
Riteish, what does the magical lamp do in the film, Aladin?
It′s capable of doing anything, it′s capable of doing anything that′s impossible but again it all depends upon what the person wants and it all depends on what Aladin wants. Aladin is someone who does not desire for anything extraordinary in his life except Jasmine and that too without magic. So in a way he does not use the lamp to his potential.
What was going on in your mind when you held the lamp for the first time?
I held the lamp for the first time when I was giving the first shot of the film. I was already into the scene when I was doing it. The only thing on my mind at that point was that what′s going to be the next line of my dialogue. Actually while shooting the scene there was nothing extraordinary that I was thinking that I could ask for.
Had you ever thought that one day you would be having a genie in the form of Mr Amitabh Bachchan? You must be one lucky person.
Yes of course I am. I think it′s Sujoy who had thought of the casting of the film. He had thought of the entire premise, the concept and set up of the film. He created characters and then casted his people and I was lucky to be cast as Aladin. Who better than Amit Ji as genie, Sanju as ringmaster and Jacqueline as Jasmine. I don′t think anyone could have been better for genie. For me genie is one person who can do extraordinary things. He has some unbelievable quality and he can do anything under the sky. And when you look at Amit Ji, one gets to believe that he can do anything.
Is there anything like the magical lamp, which you guard, fiercely in real life?
I don′t know if I have any such thing. I think we should all believe in honesty and hard work and that′s the only thing that pays off for a long time in real life. I don′t keep any such physical possession, which I consider as lucky for myself. For me life just goes on. Just work hard and be honest to your work is the mantra and see where it takes you.
Do you remember any particular story or fairy tale when you were a kid?
I have grown up on mythologies. I was very much into Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. We were three brothers and we used to impersonate the three Gods. Sometimes I used to put a tail behind my back and say that I am Hanuman now. So I have grown up on all such mythological stories like the Ramayan and the Mahabharata. These were stories that were told by my grandfather to me.
So I am pretty sure you must be waiting for Abhishek′s Ravana?
Of course yes and it would be a great watch, which would be enjoyed by everybody.
Riteish, how did this whole idea of making a film on Aladin come about?
I remember one day me and Sujoy were sitting at a coffee shop and were looking at an Aladin book. He then told me that let′s make a film on Aladin and I was like wow that′s a great idea. It was something very simple, in which the whole idea was conceived.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the film?
Aladin is actually a timid boy, very shy and is scared of people. He lets the bully gang overpower him very easily but at the same time there is slightly a smart streak to him.
Working with Sanjay Dutt too would have been a great experience.
Yes, Sanjay Dutt plays the ringmaster in the film and he is heading a gang, which includes all the circus men. There is this one shot in the film when all his members are walking together and then you know that it ought to be the ringmaster who is the leader of all. Ringmaster brings a great amount of regalness and royalty to the character. Though it′s negative but there is a certain attitude to the character, which is like overpowering. I don′t think that anyone better than Sanjay Dutt could have pulled that off.
Most of the sets were digitally enhanced, how difficult or easy to act on those sets?
One word, which I would like to put for the sets that were created for the film, was strange. Most of the things were digitally created and I am not used to such settings. It was for the first time in any of my film that green screens and blue screens were used extensively. It was bit difficult to walk into emptiness.
You were also working with director Sujoy Ghosh for the first time; did he intimidate you on the sets?
Sujoy is one of the friendliest people that I have come across; he never pretends to be a director. He is a director who knows what he wants. He is not afraid of correcting anyone; I mean he will correct Jacqueline who is the latest member. He would correct me, he would correct Sanjay Dutt and he would correct Amit Ji also.
Thanks a lot.