After a long time I'm at peace: Govinda

By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, April 13 (IANS) Actor Govinda, who has made a comeback following several ups and downs in life, says he's "finally at peace". He has cleared off most of his debts, got a second lease of life in Bollywood and has just begun to "understand politics" though he is an MP.

The actor, who's been in the film industry for nearly two decades, says he feels nervous and excited about movies even now and is still learning new aspects of the trade.

"I don't want to lose this second opportunity that god has given me. I want to take my work further... I think I've just begun my career now. I feel I'm in Standard 1 in school. I'm feeling nervous and excited. I'm learning, understanding and I'm trying to manage in my own way," Govinda told IANS in an interview.

The actor, known for his superb comic timing, says he had been taken for granted for too long. But that's changed now.

"Today I can't be taken for granted by people who want to make films with me. For too long I've been taken for granted. Today I insist on working only with big banners who will ensure that a film gets released properly and on time," he said.

The actor is currently working on Ravi Chopra's "Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai" and Neeraj Vora's "Do Lucky" with Tusshar Kapoor.

Asked about politics, Govinda, who's an MP, said he is "a slow learner" and is gradually understanding its nuances.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q. Apparently you've gone back to your 'three shifts a day' routine.

A. The news about me doing six films is completely false. I'm doing only two films at a time. The other projects are only under consideration.

Q. Your comeback is remarkable.

A. I don't want to lose this second opportunity that god has given me. I want to take my work further. There's no alternative to hard work. Earlier, my experience was limited, and so was the learning process because I was constantly running from one set to another.

I think I've just begun my career now. I feel I'm in Standard 1 in school. I'm feeling nervous and excited. But also tired. I'm learning, understanding and I'm trying to manage in my own way.

Q. Would you say comedy still remains your forte, considering the success of "Partner"?

A. If you've been associated and successful with a particular kind of acting for so many years, then it's wise to continue in the same direction. I've a track record of successful comedy films spread over more than a decade. Today I'm being offered romantic comedies. My recent releases like "Salaam-e-Ishq" and "Partner" combined comedy with romance.

Q. So you're basically going down your familiar route?

A. With one big difference. Today I can't be taken for granted by people who want to make films with me. For too long I've been taken for granted. Today I insist on working only with big banners who will ensure that a film gets released properly and on time.

Ravi Chopra's "Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai" is one such project. Then I've a film with Neeraj Vora called "Do Lucky" with Tusshar Kapoor.

Q. You seem to be in a very comfortable situation in life?

A. Yes, I can't deny that. I've cleared almost all my debts. My career has also been returned to me a second time. Then there're my political activities. After a long time I'm at peace.

Q. Your career has been low on quality?

A. I made a determined effort to be disciplined about my career. I've changed my viewpoint. I'm less emotional and more practical now. By next year I hope to strengthen my position personally and professionally.

Q. What about your political career?

A. I want to do quality work in both cinema and politics. I want to do more work quietly.

Q. Are you still part of politics?

A. Well, I am part of the Congress and as long as I am an MP I'll continue to be in politics.

Q. How many marks would you give yourself in politics?

A. I'm such a slow learner in politics. It's too early to put me through a test. I've just begun to understand politics. I don't want be involved with the wrong people and situations any more.

From childhood I've been overly sentimental about my family and so-called friends. It took me a long time to change myself. I walked all alone in life to reach where I am. Today everything is falling into place. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Q. What hopes for this year?

A. Quality work and to conduct myself professionally. I'm expecting that the work I get will give me satisfaction.

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