What was it about Aa Gaya Hero that made you want to make this film?
Through this film, the audience should feel that they saw a hero. I believe there is a hero in every human being but he gets clarity on this only when he takes the right decisions in life. We all start from ‘zero’ and after taking the right decisions, we become a ‘hero’. That’s the thought behind this film. And one can take the right decisions only when one truly understands what life is all about.
In the film, I play a police officer who is into acting. He acts so that he can get close to the villains. I felt it might come as overacting to act as a cop who acts! It might seem like ‘too’ much on the big screen. So I had to act in a way that looked natural. Also, my co-actors were either theatre actors or newcomers. I wanted everything to be seamless and natural like in everyday life, nothing out of place. But it shouldn’t give the feeling of a reality show or a Savdhaan India kind of thing.
I felt it was tough to bring across to the audience but if I did succeed, people would realise that a hero can also be like this. It should be a hero without age barriers or a looks barrier. People should not associate a hero with a six-pack but a person who
This is a self-created drama that comes quite easily in the film line and the public starts to accept it. People accept it only after the actor’s film becomes a super hit. So our main motive was for our film to be a super hit. That’s what I was thinking when I set out to make this film. Now I feel things are working in our favour. The songs of our film are already a hit.
Your own stardom was very unlikely. You had no film background but you went on to become a superstar. Do you identify with this role?
I do. When I started my career, I was very raw. I had come from a village, I wasn’t very educated, nor was I articulate. Sometimes, I used to tell my mother that my colleagues in the industry were well-educated and spoke eloquently, unlike me. They had much more experience in life and I was very uncomfortable around them. Through this film, I got the chance to experience so many things. I learnt I read, and it felt good to understand. Actually, this film was ready three times as I kept on making changes to improve it. Now the film is ready to hit the screens on March 3.
Govinda is not just a star but a brand. Hence there are expectations from a Govinda film. Will we see the Govinda brand in this film?
When people watch a film, they should feel, ‘Yes, this is what we were waiting for.’ There are always comparisons with your past work and this is very dangerous. They will not compare the film to Raja Babu, Coolie No. 1 or Hero No. 1 but straightaway with Aankhen because they want to see the best of your work again. So I would rather present completely different content, content that intrigues the audience and makes them feel it is a film that is worth watching. So this is a never-seen-before part that I play in the film.
When I watched the film with my family, I didn’t expect them to like it as they have never been impressed with my work! When I was struggling to become an actor, they were not impressed back then either. When I become a star, then too they were very critical of my work. So, while making this film, I once again felt that they would be critical of it. Instead, they enjoyed the film and even clapped at some scenes. I hope the audience too enjoys my film.
(Laughs) I did sing for some of my films but I am not a singer. There were a few songs in some films which I had written even though I did not get credit for them. I am not a trained singer and have no proper knowledge of music but I have still been able to create some good tunes or songs. People used to love them and ask me to sing. That’s also because I am very expressive when I sing. But, no, I haven’t sung any songs in his film.
You used to do 10 to 15 films simultaneously but actors now do one film a year or one film in two years. According to you, what is better for an actor?
When I was about 22 years old, the late Yash Chopraji said to me, ‘Govinda, I have given nine flop films in a row and you have given six hits one after the other, aur ye suna hai ke tum ek set se dusre set pe bhagte ho aur logon ko pata nahi hota ke tum kab aake chale gaye… itna chota bachcha hai tu, tu kaise hit deta hai.’
I was so embarrassed that a legend like him was asking such a question of a newbie like me. The thing is, at an early age, I realised that if you work sincerely and with a clean heart, the result will always be fruitful. But there is always the fear that people are not aware of just how hard youare working.
My elder brother once said to me, ‘Govind, tujhe ye pata hai ke tu ek set se dusre set pe bhagta hai aur kaise manage karta hai but public has nothing to do with it. Public ayegi kaam dekhegi aur ya toh gaali degi ya taali degi. Public doesn’t care how hard you are working, they will come only to see your film.’ However, that worked in my favour.
There was a time when films celebrated their silver and golden jubilees but now it’s all about weekend numbers. What do you think is better?
It is our job to work hard, like we used to. Keeping numbers in mind when we work can distract an actor and it will show in the film. We should leave the result to God.
This is the kind of film one will watch over and over again. It has many angles and layers and people come to watch these layers. Some angles will touch people’s personal lives, some angles will touch on social issues and some angles have never been seen before.
I hope people watch the film again and again so that its various layers are visible. First, people will come to watch Govinda, then they will start liking the film. Some people will come to see Govinda’s song and I think their choice is filmy. After watching the film, they will say, ‘Govinda has made this film’ and they will appreciate me as a writer and will appreciate me in different ways.
My second and upcoming film Raju Mindblowing is the kind of cinema I failed to work in the past. So I think it will cover everything that was previously missed. I have written two to three films and they will release one after another.
Once you watch this film, you will feel like watching it again and again. People will scrutinize the film because there is no grasping, once the film is grasping people think that what was that scene and what was he trying to say in that scene.
Now people watch movies on their mobile phones. The theatre is in their hands. But when you want to watch a film on the big screen, with friends and family, it is important that the film has all those values.
I thought about this in Aa Gaya Hero. People will say, ‘Today, we watched the film for Govinda, then we will watch it for its songs, then the dialogue, and then we will see things that are surprising in the film like ‘Aare yaar, villain toh aise pehele kabhi dekha he nahin,’ Then they will say, ‘Why did he get newcomers?’ That’s why people will watch the film again and again.
My mother has blessed me, she told me once I cross 49 years of age, I will be blessed with many things. I think that time has come.