By Jivraj Burman
Mumbai, May 5 (IANS) Although Bollywood actor Mithun Chakraborty dotes on his son Mimoh, he is getting apprehensive of being overshadowed by him.
Mimoh's debut-making movie, "Jimmy" is releasing two weeks after "Don Muthuswamy", in which Mithun plays the title role, that hits the screens May 9.
Mithun fears that "Jimmy", in which Mimoh shows off his amazing dancing skills, might overshadow his own film and give him a tough time in consolidating his second innings in Bollywood.
"Mimoh is so good at dancing that even I got jitters when I saw a trial screening of 'Jimmy' recently. And, mind you, I have not been a bad dancer in my earlier innings in Hindi movies," Mithun told IANS here.
Now that his son has turned an actor, is there any chance of both working together in movies in the near future?
"No chance," Mithun remarked promptly. "I will not be able to keep pace with Mimoh's dancing vim and vigour. Plus, I am sure Mimoh would not like to be overshadowed by my histrionic abilities."
Does it mean that he does not rate Mimoh very high as an actor?
"It takes a performer at least 10 years to learn the ropes of acting. Mimoh has just begun his career. He has to go through the grind before he calls himself an actor in the true sense," Mithun said matter-of-factly.
Incidentally, this is the same Mithun who had created Bollywood history in 1976 by bagging the National Award for Best Actor in his debut movie "Mrigaya", made by Mrinal Sen.
In Ashim Samanta's "Don Muthuswamy," Mithun plays the role of a reformed don. How Muthuswamy's life goes for a toss after he relinquishes his notorious career of crime is, in essence, what the movie is about.
A comedy, it is Mithun's eighth movie for Samanta's banner. Although the banner has produced over 65 movies so far, "Don Muthuswamy" is only its second comedy in four and a half decades since it produced "Naughty Boy" starring Kishore Kumar and Kalpana in 1962.
Mithun said his role in "Don Muthuswamy" constantly reminded him of Krishan Iyer MA, the character of a bungling don he played in Mukul Anand-directed "Agneepath" 28 years ago.
When Ashim had gone to meet Mithun in Ooty with the story idea of a reformed don, he had planned to fashion the character after a Mumbai don.
Though the movie was being planned as a comedy, Mithun refused to play a Mumbai don. So, Ashim had to give the character a Tamil identity.
But does Mithun enjoy playing comic characters?
"Well, I am an actor. So I should be able to play all kinds of roles. It's true that I have not worked in many comedies. But I enjoyed playing 'Don Muthuswamy'. In fact, having lived in Tamil Nadu for long, I incorporated into the character some Tamil mannerisms I observed in some Tamil employees in my hotel in Ooty," he said.
Mithun has a line-up of movies, which will keep him busy in Mumbai for at least two to three years. Some of these are "Luck", "Ghosla", "Phir Kabhie", "Zindagi Tere Naam", "Chandni Chowk to China" and "C-Company".
"The characters I am playing in these movies are the kinds that I had never played earlier. I am surprised that I am being offered to play these at this stage. I want to specially mention 'Phir Kabhie', being jointly produced by Ronnie Screwvala and Pradeep Guha. I am playing a 60-year-old man opposite Dimple Kapadia in this movie," the actor said.
He said though he would give cent percent to the movies to make his second innings in Bollywood as successful and fulfilling as the previous one, he would shoot only 25 days in a month.
"The rest five days I will devote to my hotel in Ooty, which has a 450-strong staff and needs my attention and guidance," he said.
Ever since he shifted to Ooty in the mid-1990s, Mithun had refused to come down to Mumbai to shoot for his movies. The producers, who had signed him, had to plan their shooting schedules as per the actor's convenience until recently.
While in "Don Muthuswamy" Mithun plays a comic character, in his soon-to-be released Bengali movie "Ekti Nadir Katha", directed by Bollywood art director Samir Chandra, he emotes a diametrically opposite character, proving his versatility.
After almost 35 years in filmdom since he debuted in "Mrigaya", acting has now got into his skin. He had also set a new dancing trend in his 1983 movie, "Disco Dancer".
"Disco Dancer", in fact, became his son Mimoh's day school for dancing when he grew up. The student is now threatening to prove one up on his teacher.