KALYUG, Kunal Khemu's home coming
By Manissha Despaande, Bollywood Trade News Network
"Working with the banner of Vishesh Films and Mahesh Bhatt is like
returning home after a long time, except that this time I am a matured adult
with a better perspective of the world," says Kunal Khemu, who worked as a
child artist in HUM HAI RAHI PYAAR KE and ZAKHM and is now set to make a
"full-fledged" acting debut in Vishesh Films' KALYUG.
In the film, Kunal plays the character of the protagonist, a newly married
young boy from Kashmir who unknowingly becomes the victim of a pornographic
racket when he and his wife are secretly filmed through a hidden camera while on
a honeymoon. He then takes on the kingpins in the racket and gradually unveils
the goings-on in the porno world. "It is a dream debut considering that
most actors have to start off with conventional love stories for their first
film," says Kunal.
It all started for Kunal when Mahesh Bhatt called him up one fine day and
told him that he was seriously considering of casting him in a film that he was
planning. The 21-year old who had just finished his college, was game for it.
"It was something that I had been awaiting all the time. I knew Mahesh
Bhatt all along after having worked with him in H.H.R.P.K (the youngest kid) and
ZAKHM (Pooja Bhatt's son). I had kept in touch with him over the years and it
was a challenging role by all means," he adds.
Moreover Kunal was made a part of the team right from day one with Mahesh
Bhatt asking him to participate in all the story sittings and discussions as his
role began to shape up. "I got thoroughly acquainted with my role in the
process. Besides I began to share an excellent comfort level with director Mohit
Suri over a period of time," he recalls.
Did the comfort level help when it came to performing the bold and steamy
scenes in the film? "There are a few bold scenes in the film which are
consequential to the storyline but the question of being uncomfortable did not
arise simply because I looked at them as a professional. I looked at it as the
demand of the script and went with it," justifies Kunal.
On the other hand, he is quick to defend the film and the banner of Vishesh
Films, with which he already claims to have become a loyalist. "I am aware
of the fact that people tend to lately associate the banner of Vishesh Films
with bold and sensuous films after MURDER but they conveniently tend to forget
some of the more sensitive films that Mahesh Bhatt has made in the past. Besides
KALYUG is not just about sex and pornography, it is a realistic film that
addresses the problem of the porn racket in which innocent victims get
trapped," he says.
So what does he think of the other blue-eyed boy of the Bhatts, Emraan Hashmi
and the image that he has come to acquire? "That is his persona. Apart from
that he is a talented actor in his own right who has his own set of
priorities," he retorts rather tactfully.
Meanwhile Kunal has already made his place in the Vishesh banner with the
Bhatts confirming him for another project. "It is a bit too premature to
talk of it," he says, clarifying that he is open to working with other
banners as well. "I am here to do a lot of good work which may or may not
be with Vishesh Films but Mahesh Bhatt will always remain a mentor to me who
initiated me into acting as a child and now as an adult," he smiles.