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Terror gets a name

Mukesh Rishi tells ANUJ KUMAR he is game for variety



FEAR FACTOR Mukesh Rishi says he picks gestures from real life characters

Need to bring in the terror element? Cast Mukesh Rishi. After Amrish Puri if somebody has evoked fear just by sheer presence it is he. Gardish, Loafer, Ghatak... the list is exhaustive. But, as always, the actor in him was getting bored and started longing for roles that required more than just frowning. "I liked the way I was portrayed in Sarfarosh and Run - where there were no action scenes for me. But such roles were few and far between. Meanwhile, Bollywood heroes started playing villains themselves. This concept of `lovable villain' irks me."

He laughs at how Hrithik plays a villain in Dhoom 2 but still wins the Filmfare Best Actor Award and Saif walks away with the best villain trophy for Omkara. "Where is the place for us? Such villains or say heroes get all the support both at the script level and at the production stage. So when I got fed up waiting for different roles I switched to South films." After doing some 20-odd films in all the South Indian languages, where he got to do some positive characters as well, Mukesh is returning to Hindi films with Lahore. "It is not that I shifted base from Mumbai. I kept on doing selected films like I did the critically-acclaimed Waris Shah, where I played the guru of Waris Shah."

Sports lover

Mukesh says Lahore is close to his heart because it is a sports film based on kickboxing. "I have been a cricket player, athlete and a karate enthusiast. I also did body building for a while. Few know that I have played alongside Ashok Malhotra at club level. Here I am playing a Pakistani champ." Mukesh started his career as a model in New Zealand. "My wife is from Fiji. After marriage we went to New Zealand. There I got some modelling assignments. After a while, I got bored and came to Mumbai where I received training under Roshan Taneja."

Mukesh still remembers his first film Gardish for its natural fight scenes, particularly the one where Jackie Shroff and he fight with buckets. "Such authenticity is seldom seen in Hindi films - an ordinary fight was made to look spectacular. Today, the hero jumps twenty feet against gravity courtesy cables. I have no problems with cables and they make the fight scenes safer, still I feel the fight scenes should be written according to the character and setting."

Mukesh says in real life he has never picked up a fight. "However, somewhere in the core I have some reserves of anger, which reflect on the screen. Then I am a good observer. Most of the times, I draw my characters and mannerisms from real people."

Mukesh is now looking forward to Fauj Main Mauj with Mallika Sherawat where for once his character, an Army General, has comic overtones.

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