In this freewheeling and frank interview, Govinda’s cousin AKASH GEHRWAR tells JYOTHI VENKATESH that as an actor, he is in search of his own David Dhawan
Is Devil’s Night your debut film as an actor?
To tell you the truth, Devil’s Night is not my debut film. It is actually my third film. I had made my debut with my dad’s film Kaun Mere Kaun Tere when I was just 17, as it was my late father’s wish to see me as an actor. The film did not click at the box office and after I did one more film called Salaam Saab with my cousin actor Krishna Abhishek which was incomplete, I sat idle at home for lack of work. By then the pandemic started and here I am once again facing the camera for Devil’s Eye.
You are Govinda’s cousin. How many brothers do you have?
I am Govindaji’s cousin and I have my brothers but none of them are in films as they are pursuing family business.
What lured you to be an actor?
Besides the fact that my dad was keen on launching me as an actor, the fact is I have been inspired hell of a lot by my cousin Chichi bhaiya. I have watched all the films in which he was an actor. I used to dance like him after watching his films and it was my father who noticed the streak as well as the spark in me and hence offered to launch me with his own film. Not only that, my dad also asked me to join acting classes and also join a gym
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As Govinda is your cousin, it would have been a cake walk for you to bag a debut film with a David Dhawan or a Pahalaj Nihalani. Why did you opt to begin your career with a new producer’s film?
To begin with, frankly I am yet to get my own David Dhawan and the search is still on. In this industry it is essential that you select your own path and seek your own career because to go ahead further in your career, you have to depend on your own hard work and no expect your kith and in to help you though Chichi bhaiya does give me advice as a guru and elder brother from time to time.
How do you take comparisons of yours with Govinda and Krishna Abhishek?
I take comparisons with my cousins very positively. Krishna Abhishek also has great comic timing like Chichi bhaiya. In the dance reality show India’s Got Talent in which I had participated sometime back, Terrence Lewis, Malaika Arora and Geeta Ma complimented me on my dancing style and said maine dil khush kar diya. As my style of dancing is very similar to that of Chichi bhaiya, I often get compliments for my dancing on the sets. I know that till I end up becoming a big star like Govindaji I, people will continue to compare me with Govindaji. Even if I have even 10% of what Govinda is as an actor, I’d consider myself great because Govindaji is one and only actor who has a great flair for dancing besides being a good actor.
How is your co-star Mughda Godse in the film Devil’ Eye?
I’d say that Mughda Godse is an expressive artist and very friendly as far as I am concerned. She has no tantrums or baggage and she co-operates with me a lot on the sets. If your co-actor is a friend of yours, thankfully you do not at all need retake after retake.
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If remakes of Govinda’s film are made, of which films would you like to be a part of?
I’d love to be a part and parcel of bhaiya’s films like Hatya, Hero No1 and last but not the least Saajan Chale Sasural if at all they are remade. I believe Rajeev S Ruia is now all set to remake his film Saajan Chale Sasural with newcomers. I would not mind approaching Rajeev Sir to ask him to cast me in his film because a double role at this stage of my career will be great as far as I am concerned.
Name five directors who are in your wish list?
Among the filmmakers who are in my wish list are Imtiaz Ali, Rohit Shetty and last but not the least Tigmanshu Dhulia
What is your approach as an actor?
I was very lazy as long as my father was alive. Though he wanted me to devote at least seven to eight hours every day for my practice, I used to devote only two to three hours each day. Whether it is a film or a web series, I”d love to be apart of it
An actor, I feel, should never stop but continue acting as long as he can or he is wanted. I do comedy well. Till date, whatever I have learnt as far as acting is concerned, I have learnt only from my dad as well as Govindaji.
Do you think that it is essential to have a hit on hand to survive as a star?
It may be necessary to have a hit on hand to become a star but if you want to be known as an actor, sky’s the limit and you can win even by playing small cards. In fact, sometimes a film does not run but your work in the film is noticed.
Govinda has always been known as a teetotaller. What is your take on alcohol consumption?
I like to socialize. If I am invited, I’d like to go to parties but would not like to go to clubs and discothèques, though frankly, I do drink occasionally.
What are your forthcoming projects?
I have been signed for two more films to be directed by Ashok Jamuar who is directing Devil’s Eye. Besides this, I am also having a film called Humsafar which will soon be streamed on MX Player with Raj Gautam as my director and Simi Khan as my co-actor.