By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service
Mumbai, (IANS) Suniel Shetty confesses that every time he saw co-star Shahid Kapoor during the shooting of "Deewane Huey Paagal" he would rush to pinch the younger star's cheeks.
"I don't know what it was about Shahid. But every time I'd see him I'd rush and pull his cheeks," says Suniel affectionately. "Things came to such a head that Shahid would cover his cheeks and run the other way every time he would see me. But what to do? He reminded me of my son every time I saw him."
The bonding between the two actors from two generations is major.
They've formed a durable protégé-mentor relationship, last seen when Salman Khan had taken Hrithik Roshan under his wings and even shot pictures of the fledgling actor. Later Shah Rukh Khan took a shine to Zayed Khan during "Main Hoon Na".
Suniel hopes Shahid would make huge leaps in his career. "He's excellent in 'Deewane Huey Paagal'. His dancing and comic timing are remarkable."
Suneil plays a physically challenged lover-boy in the film, which he describes as a "mad comedy".
"But no one makes fun of the physically handicapped. I'd be the last person to participate in something that is derogatory to any section of society. It was fun to be associated with the 'Awaara Paagal Deewana' team again, and to know Shahid who's a dear boy."
Suniel is all praise for leading lady Rimi Sen. "While in the original, 'There's Something About Mary', three guys were in love with Cameron Diaz, in 'Deewane Huey Pagal' everyone from the usher at the cinema to Paresh Rawal to Shahid and me adore Rimi. She's come up the hard way. And after hits like 'Hungama', 'Dhoom' and 'Garam Masala' she's considered lucky.
Nothing sells like success here."