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'Ek Haseena Thi: Ek Deewana Tha' star cast discuss Bollywood rules and romance

Director Suneel Darshan, cast of Ek Haseena Thi: Ek Deewana Tha discuss B-Town rules, romance, camaraderie

(From left) Upen Patel, Natasha Fernandes, Suneel Darshan and Shiv Darshan at the mid-day office. Pic/Nimesh Dave(From left) Upen Patel, Natasha Fernandes, Suneel Darshan and Shiv Darshan at the mid-day office. Pic/Nimesh Dave

Suneel Darshan is returning to direction after a decade with the romantic thriller - Ek Haseena Thi: Ek Deewana Tha. The upcoming film stars his son, Shiv Darshan, apart from Upen Patel and Natasha Fernandez. Over cold drinks, coffee and sandwiches, the three actors and the director spoke to mid-day about their film, working in the family, troubles of production and more. Excerpts:

On romance
Suneel: Romance has changed with time. It is now more about physical love than true emotions. For me, though, nothing has changed. The romance that I do has sublimity, purity and a certain amount of deception. It won't be cheap or vulgar. It will make viewers giggle and feel good.

Natasha: It's an emotion that every person goes through. But we've kept it relatable.

On work pressure
Shiv: Since it's my father's film, people feel I had my hand in every pie. Frankly, if I could just manage to act well, it'd be great. When I am on set, I am his actor

Upen: This will be one film that's not about showing your body or glamour. I have felt every emotion that I displayed in the movie. I want to prove that I have skills that haven't been explored before.

On special treatment
Upen: When we were on set, it never felt like Shiv was Suneel Darshan's son. He was always one of us and Suneelji was always 'sir' for him. In fact, I was more pally with Suneelji.

Shiv: He would reprimand me if I fumbled.

Suneel: I am not an indulgent father. I can do that within the four walls of my house. I cannot indulge him in such an expensive business. I don't want to bear the consequence of the guilt that I was not honest to my work.

On the film industry
Suneel: It is difficult to sustain in the industry. People use you when they want and then act distant when they don't need you. In my lifetime, I have worked with several such actors, but you can't blame them. If you sit in front of the mirror the whole day, tomorrow you too will be a changed person. They are so obsessed with themselves that they seldom look beyond the self.

On rules
Upen: Suneelji had written the first part of his story on his iPad, and had already signed Shiv for the film. I read it and asked him if I were a part of the project or not. He said, Yes, the other hero is you'. Finally, I felt he believed in me as a performer.

Suneel: When I had a proper story written, I called Shiv. I asked him if it made sense to him. His reaction was so positive that I knew I was on the right path. I have worked with established actors, but the ones I wanted are older now; some didn't have dates and I didn't want to wait endlessly.

I was sitting at a café, when I noticed Natasha place an order. Her face was flashing some 101 expressions. She looked heroine material, but needed a bit of grooming. However, once I spoke to her, I knew she was the one. She groomed herself, learnt dance from Saroj Khan and then we
began shooting.

On the boys
Natasha: Both the characters were individually unique, so you can't compare them.

Upen: For the record, going by the trailers, she is romancing Shiv more than me.

Natasha: Shiv is dedicated and honest. When we started workshops, he would motivate me to reach his level and be in sync with him. As for Upen, he is extremely down to earth and has always guided me. He taught me to always keep mind over matter.

On music
Suneel: Nadeem is an enigma. His songs had become an anthem. Unfortunately, he didn't continue. I am his fan. If composers like him are eliminated, we will become mechanical. His music is emotional. Even if you hear his song after 25 years, it will be golden. I am glad I could work with him. We have six songs, which will all become hits by the time the film releases, I'm sure. There's bankruptcy in music, but if you go to Nadeem, he has 2,000 songs ready.

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