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Riteish Deshmukh's hair length delayed Banjo for six months

The actor, son of a late chief minister of Maharashtra, insists he was raised in a middle-class household.

Keyur Seta

Ravi Jadhav’s Banjo sees Riteish Deshmukh playing a street urchin who is a master banjo player. Deshmukh hails from a powerful political family; his father, the late Vilasrao Deshmukh, was Maharashtra's second longest-serving chief minister. But, during the trailer launch of the film, the actor insisted he was not born into privilege.

During an interaction with the media, when it was pointed out to Deshmukh that he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he retorted: “Says who? Aapne mere ghar ke chammach kab dekhe [When did you check the spoons in my house]? I was born in Latur. I used to eat with my hand. I never used spoons. My upbringing has been in a middle-class household.”

Speaking about his connection with Banjo, Deshmukh said, “I had a lot of friends who used to play the banjo during festivals like Ganeshotsav. So, understanding and knowing banjo players was not an issue. But we had to do a lot of homework to look at the character from that perspective. Ravi had interviewed banjo players and showed me their videos. So we tried to work hard without the silver spoon (smiles).” 

Deshmukh also revealed that he was forced to delay shooting for banjo for about six months. “Ravi and Krishika [producer Krishika Lulla] were very clear that they wanted the character to sport long hair because he is jhopde ka rockstar and will have his own unique style. I had to push this film for six months as I was shooting for Housefull 3 where I had shorter hair.” 

The trailer was launched after a live banjo performance by professional banjo players.