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Updated: December 12, 2009 06:43 IST

More to Mr. Funny than meets the eye

Madhur Tankha
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Tiku Talsania.
Tiku Talsania.

For Bollywood funny man Tiku Talsania theatre has always been his first love even though he has been in the film industry for over three decades.

“I started out very young in Bollywood. My first film was Duty in which I played the villain. I am still learning the nuances of acting. Every day is a new lesson and a new life for me. I have been able to do comedy in Hindi films with ease because of my strong theatre background. The best thing about theatre is that it gives your instant reaction. A crowd of 2,000 will applaud your performance if you do a good job but if you disappoint them they will simply walk away. As there are no retakes unlike in films and televisions, theatre is more challenging,” says Tiku, who was in the Capital on Wednesday to promote a new soap opera.

Appearances can be deceptive and more so in the case of Tiku whose serious looks make him look like a corporate executive. However, when he puts on the greasepaint he completely transforms himself into the character.

“In my new film Hook ya Crook I play the father of Genelia D’Souza. She is a gifted and natural actor. The role required ten days of shooting. I cannot divulge much about the film or my character,” says the actor.

Among Bollywood actors, Tiku holds the late Bengali actor Utpal Dutt in high esteem. “He was a talented actor and even in Hindi films he proved his mettle. When people compare me with him I feel honoured.”

Tiku says he would like to earn as much as he can. “Acting is my bread, butter and jam. Even when I am not doing films I freelance as a theatre artiste and work overseas. I have worked in America and Europe. Gujarati theatre is very popular in Mumbai and 14 to 15 plays are staged there every Sunday. I started working with Indian National Theatre but when its founder Pravin Joshi died I left.”

As for the general perception that theatre actors tend to overact, Tiku says: “When the great Sivaji Ganesan was asked why he was so loud, he said that when he performs before a crowd of 5,000 he has to speak loudly.”

Tiku admits that some comedy shows have lowered the standard because of double-meaning dialogue. “People get what they appreciate. I am doing an upcoming serial, Sajan Re Jhoot Mat Bolo, on SAB channel which is a rib-tickling journey of an orphan.”

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