Following in the footsteps of his illustrious film-maker father David Dhawan, ‘chilled-out’ son Rohit Dhawan who makes his directorial debut with ‘Desi Boyz’ with a cast comprising Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, Deepika Padukone and Chitrangada Singh has ventured into a bold, brazen zone. The maverick UK-based movie has its lead hunk actors Akshay Kumar and John Abraham (remember them together in ‘Garam Masala’?) cast as ‘male escorts’ who play upto women’s wild fantasies with an undercurrent of erotica of course.
But Akshay Kumar denies this comedy entertainment will hurt the ethnic Indian movie-goers’ sensibilities. Actually John and I do not play male stripper gigolos, but hunky dudes, escorts who are more like buddies to girls and ladies. We also appear in a variety of ‘fancy costumes’ including that of top cricketers, police-officers, firemen and even pilots to appeal to female fantasies.
In fact, I had to specially learn ‘pole-dancing’ in London as we had to do any blatantly ‘risque’ (read ‘sleazy’) content. Clarifies the ‘Khiladi’ Kumar, whose upcoming home-production movie is titled ‘Khiladi 786’, “Frankly, ‘Desi Boyz’ promises freak-out action – we eventually get hired as pole-dancers in this U.K. based club owned by Sanjay Dutt’s (‘guest appearance’) character. And our lead characters’ acts seem justified because they do it more out of ‘last-resort-majboori’ when they find themselves unemployed out there in the UK, thanks to the cruel recession phase. Besides, there are romantic tracks and strong emotional scenes as well for our desi audiences,” elaborates Akshay.
Wasn’t this ‘Desi Boyz’ subject having its uncanny basic similarity with the British movie ‘The Full Monty’ (1997) which also had its unemployed desperate lead characters resorting to playing dare-bare strip-tease scenes ? “All I can say is, our movie is a rip-off from a true story of an Indian and a Pakistani who were banking professionals and close buddies. They lost their jobs and were badly hit by the recession compelling them to glide into the ‘male escorts’ groove to survive,” shrugs Akki (Akshay).
How was his experience shooting with co-star Chitrangada (known more for her parallel cinema arty movies) for whom this is her commercial mainstream debut? Reacts the ‘Patiala House’ actor, “Must say, Chitrangada is a spontaneous, stunning actress and we jelled very well. She often reminded me of the late legendary Smita Patil with her facial features and her dusky complexion. And I am confident that like Smitaji, Chitra in her glam-girl avatar will strike it big, in the big-budget commercial movies category as well. Did Akshay have to get coaching from real-life male escorts to add authenticity to his daring role? Wearing a naughty frown on his face, he confides, “Zaroorat nahi thi. Fortunately, when I was employed in Thailand during my initial five-year struggle phase I had observed the way local ‘male escorts’ would behave and operate. So that ‘memory recall’ came to my rescue,” he chuckles.