The latest super-hit talk-of-the-town movie ‘Andhadhun’ directed by Sriram Raghavan (the ‘Hindi avataar of Hitchcock’) starring Ayushmann Khurrana-Tabu-Radhika Apte has an intriguing highlight as well. The slick crime-thriller ‘Andhadhun’ has eminent Bollywood senior cine-musician-arranger-composer-violinist-singer-drummer-rhythm maestro Franco Vaz playing ‘himself’, but as Radhika Apte’s screen-father.
That too as the owner of an elite resto-bar also called ‘Franco’s’. As all legendary composer R D Burman hard-core fans are aware, Franco has played drums and percussion for hundreds of chartbusting RDB recording ‘takes’ right from ‘Kasme Vaade’ (1978) including ‘Rocky’ and ‘Saagar’. Quirky coincidence as it may appear, Franco’s ‘Boss’ RDB had also ‘acted’ in comic cameos in a couple of Hindi movies. Shrugs ‘rhythm-guru’ Vaz who also heads ‘Trakadoom’ Institute, “Frankly speaking I was not at all game for getting onto the acting groove, because I know I am ‘not’ cut out for it. But it was the ‘Andhadhun’ genius director Sriram Raghavan who coaxed and convinced me that he had ‘me’ in mind all along in the script and that I just had to be ‘myself’ during the shooting takes.
Taking that cue, I also played ad-lib racy rhythmic beats on the ‘bar-trays’ during my scenes. Actually as a senior musician, I have been playing music for Sriram right from his initial phase movie ‘Johnny Gaddar’ upto ‘Andhadhun’, for both the background (Daniel) as well as the songs. So we both share a warm bonding, even otherwise.
The ultimate respect and royal treatment that was given to me during the shoot and even later at the movie preview by Sriram’s caring team and the star-cast was indeed overwhelming. Maybe, if they make a sequel, I would love to be an ‘encore’ part of the ensemble,” laughs Franco, who credits his new-found movie-celeb status to “my mentor R D Burman and now to Sriram”.