First of Many: Rimi Sen revisits Hungama

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Rimi Sen recently made news for her honest confession about her early years in Bollywood, how despite being a blockbuster and working with the biggest stars, she only acted for the money. Rimi, who has been around for almost two decades, has done a series of comedies and dramas but now wants to try thrillers.

Some of Rimi’s most popular films include Kyon Ki, Deewane Huye Paagal, Phir Hera Pheri, Golmaal, Dhoom, Baghban, and others. After filming the producer with the nationally awarded film Budhia Singh – Born to Run (2016), Rimi took a break from showbiz. Although the actor seems to be ready for a second run, we’ll take her back to her Bollywood acting debut, director Priyadarshan Hungama with Akshaye Khanna, Paresh Rawal and Aftab Shivdasani, and how it went.

Here’s what she shared:

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What was your first acting project? How did the project come to you?

I did a Coca-Cola commercial with Aamir Khan. After that, I started getting movie offers and Hungama (2003) was one of them. I didn’t audition for that, I just had to meet Priyadarshan sir. All he asked me was if I could swim. I said I knew it and he proved me right. I was surprised because it was not the role of a swimmer and I wondered if this was how the films were signed. I think we met at Holiday Inn or something. He is very shy and I believe because he just had to ask me something he asked about swimming. Now, to think about it, after a few years I made his movie Kyun Ki where I had to drown, maybe that’s why he asked me. (Laughs).

Priyadarshan sir is very clear about what he wants, from casting to production. He’s a very polished director.

What do you remember from your first day on the set?

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We went to Chennai to shoot. On the first day, I think there were Akshaye Khanna and Paresh Rawal around. It was one of the scenes from Paresh ji’s house in the movie. It was a time when Aftab Shivdasani was also at the peak of his career.

Were you nervous? How many times have you taken?

I have never been nervous. I have always been very confident to play. But Akshaye and Paresh ji’s timing is so brilliant that it was a task to be matched with them. Priyadarshan sir is very easy with actors. He will come and explain to you in such a clear way that you won’t even realize he just explained something! He knows how to extract a great performance from any actor. This is his trait.

I have worked with great dedication, as I have been told, as an obedient student. There was never a complaint against me and people respected me a lot. Just that I had a diction problem. So in my early films my voice was dubbed. Rest, everything was good.

hungama paresh rawal rimi sen akshaye khanna ftab shivdasani shoma anand Hungama played Rimi Sen, Akshaye Khanna, Aftab Shivdasani, Paresh Rawal and Shoma Anand.

How was that connection with your co-stars when you got to meet them or work with them again later?

Since there were fewer players in the industry at the time, most of them repeated themselves and we continued to meet on different sets. So I ended up working with Paresh ji in several films like Phir Hera Pheri. It was like a family. With Priyadarshan sir, after every movie he goes by so quickly (to his next movie) that you don’t have time to look back and reflect on your past plans with him.

If you are given the chance to reprise your lead role, what would you like to change or do better?

Even if I want to improve anything, it will not fit the bill as I tried to describe Anjali exactly as she was in Priyadarshan sir’s mind. And it worked really well. Just that my Hindi diction was a bit of a problem. I wish I could double myself. Today, I might not make a humorous film, unless it has good content. Hungama had good content, a situational comedy at the time, but there was a mistaken identity thing. A good script has been made around him.

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A movie or a role that inspired you to become an actor?

I stayed studious in school and away from home doing part-time modeling due to a financial crisis at home. So I didn’t have enough time to watch movies growing up. I had a dead childhood because I was working so hard that I wanted to retire early.

Among what I liked recently, I can cite the Delhi Crime web series. I also liked friends. I like Anurag Basu films, Raju Hirani films. But, I’m a thriller person. Otherwise, on the sets too, I have never been struck with stars. For me, all were equal. If you ask me which movie I would like to debut with, it would be Kahaani by Vidya Balan. It was my kind of movie.

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