Excelling in one aspect of filmmaking is not enough any more. For many, multi-tasking spells success
This wonderfully creative industry is fertile ground for experimentation, and seizing the opportunity to explore their various talents, actors and other professionals have often played more than one role. Why, there was a time when acting was taboo for women and male actors would don the role of a female actor.
There were legends like Raj Kapoor, Guru Dutt, Dev Anand, Manoj Kumar and many more who mastered many facets of filmmaking, from writing to producing to directing to acting. The only difference between then and now is that many more professionals today are willing to venture out of their comfort zones. Indeed, it is the age of multi-tasking.
Remember when Farhan Akhtar kept his career as a director on the backburner and took the plunge into acting? He was criticised for his decision but, today, Akhtar is not only a successful writer-director but he’s got other filmmakers writing scripts with roles designed especially for him.
Himesh Reshammiya’s decision to get into acting paid off only with his first film. However, after delivering his first successful film, his subsequent films bombed at the box office and a couple of films are still in the cans. So, to fulfill his dream of making it big as an actor, Reshammiya is producing his own movies.
And it’s not only about switching tracks. Today, working on multiple projects simultaneously and delicately juggling dates to accommodate films is the norm. So, from Farhan Akhtar to Farah Khan to Piyush Mishra to Shabina Khan to Remo D’Souza to Pooja Bhatt, there’s a plethora of professionals who are involved with various departments of the filmmaking process. And they’ve emerged with flying colours!
Take Farah Khan, for instance. A noted choreographer, Khan turned director in 2004 with the film Main Hoon Na. Her debut directorial venture catapulted her to the limelight and she went on to deliver another successful film, Om Shanti Om. Now the choreographer-turned-director is set to make her acting debut with Boman Irani in the film Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi.
Pooja Bhatt, best known as an actor for her performance in Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin, turned production designer and then finally a full-fledged producer with the film Tamanna. In 2003, Bhatt turned director with the film Paap, featuring John Abraham and Udita Goswami.
Remo D’Souza, known for his dance moves, turned to direction with the film F.A.L.T.U. He will once again wield the megaphone in his next 3D dance film AnyBody Can Dance (ABCD).
Shabina Khan, a fashion designer who has designed costumes for actors like Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Rani Mukerji and Hrithik Roshan, recently turned producer with the film Rowdy Rathore. But she’s not hanging up her scissors and will continue to pursue her first love, fashion designing.
Known for her editing skills for almost 15 years, Bela Sehgal turned director with her upcoming film, Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi. She’s also editing the film.
The latest entrant to the club of multi-taskers is VJ-actor-singer Ayushmann Khurrana, who made his debut as an actor with Shoojit Sircar’s Vicky Donor, where he not only acted but also sang the song Paani da rang.
We also have actors-turned-producers like Shah Rukh Khan, who started his production company Red Chillies in 2004 with the film Main Hoon Na. Ajay Devgn too launched his production house, Ajay Devgn Ffilms, and has delivered many successful films under his banner. Farhan Akhtar, along with Ritesh Sidhwani, launched their own production studio Excel Entertainment in 1999. Akshay Kumar’s Hari Om Productions was launched in 2009, and recently actor-turned-producer John Abraham launched JA Entertainment, which may even open a branch in London.
It’s all about exploring one’s talents to the fullest, making lots of money, building an image and, yes, having fun. Dancer-turned-choreographer-turned-actor-turned-director Prabhudheva is an excellent example of a successful multi-tasker too.
So, this week, we’re asking the multi-taskers from different areas of the in the Hindi film industry. First, how do they manage this supremely difficult juggling act? What is the response they have received? And is it really as difficult as it seems?