Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service
Mumbai, Dec 14 (IANS) His cousin Zayed Khan got married last month and Wednesday is Fardeen Khan's turn to be groom as he weds yesteryears star Mumtaz's daughter and his childhood sweetheart Natasha.
"I'm certainly not nervous... I've known my fiancée for years. We both feel marriage is right for us. I always knew when the right person came along I'd instinctively know it. I feel it's the right time to do it, no butterflies in my stomach.... no apprehensions... I feel I want to spend the rest of my life with her," says Fardeen.
"In fact Zayed's wedding being followed by mine means almost non-stop celebrations in the family. It could also mean huge hangovers and swollen livers," Fardeen told IANS.
He says it would be a "normal three-day wedding".
"The effort would be to invite all our friends but to keep the gatecrashers out. But I know finally that won't be possible."
He sobers down when reminded of the pre-nuptial agreement that his in-laws apparently demanded.
"I don't even want to comment on this. It's so ridiculous. Nothing of this sort happened. It was a media myth propounded by people who had their own agendas and ulterior motives. I wasn't at all frazzled. I was annoyed by the unnecessary media attention."
Fardeen has just done a very steamy song sequence with Koena Mitra in his new release "Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina". What does Natasha feel about it?
"Nothing. She's a mature girl and has been a part of showbiz through her mom's career. She knows the hazards of this business."
But people have found the sequence a little too steamy.
"And why should that be so? It wasn't the least overdone. I thought we filmed the love scene very aesthetically. There was no nudity, nothing over-suggestive. It was also essential to prove how self-serving my character was.
"But I must confess I'm too private a person to do a sequence of this sort on camera without a squirm. To be making love, albeit acting it, in front of a whole crew was tough. But both Koena and I were very professional about it."
Fardeen is very pleased with the positive response to his performance in "Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina".
"I suppose the role is very close to my own external personality. Yes, it is a very urban character with flexible values. I did enjoy playing this character. But it doesn't mean I was not comfortable doing a 'Shaadi No. 1' or my next release 'Pyare Mohan'."
Is he disappointed by the cold response to "Shaadi No. 1" and the lukewarm opening of "Ek Khiladi..."?
"Everyone did his or her best in 'Shaadi No. 1'. No one has control over how a film finally performs at the box office. As for 'Ek Khiladi...', I'm very happy with the film; 420 prints were released. It's not a small film. It will take time to get a grip on the audience."
He gets along with his "Khiladi" director Suparn Verma.
"We really gel well. In fact, Suparn is planning another film with me. Has he really said he wants to work with me in all his films? Sweet, but he needs to work with other actors, just like I do."
He denies that "Pyare Mohan" is an out-and-out comedy.
"I play a visually impaired guy. Vivek Oberoi is deaf. Because of our handicaps we end up in certain situations. The film is about how we wriggle out of our adversities."
Adversities have been with Fardeen for a while now, ever since the cocaine controversy broke out.
"I've put all that behind me. But a section of the media won't let me. Whether it's a social or a legal issue, why pin down celebrities in this manner? I don't think the trial by media is right."