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Deven 'Commando 2' Bhojani wants to break free from the comic stereotype

The popular film and TV actor is making his directorial debut with the action thriller starring Vidyut Jammwal.

Mayur Lookhar

Some people are gifted with a funny face. For a comedian, that is half the battle won. Add decent acting skills to the package and you get a fine actor.

Popular film and television actor Deven Bhojani, best known for shows like Dekh Bhai Dekh and Office Office, is one such comedian.

From the time we first saw him in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander (1992), Bhojani has always had those chubby cheeks which give him a cherubic look and have landed him innumerable comic roles.

So to find Bhojani making his directorial debut with an out-and-out action thriller — Commando 2, sequel to the 2013 thriller starring Vidyut Jammwal — was something of a surprise.

Asked about the choice of genre, Bhojani told Cinestaan.com, “I have directed a TV series, Pukar (2014), which was an action family drama. I have always been fascinated by spy thrillers and espionage films. People associate me with comedy, but I hope after this film, they will have a different perspective. I hope it helps to break free of the stereotype.”

Jammwal plays the lead in the second part as well. "I had watched Vidyut Jammwal in Commando, and I firmly believe he is the finest action hero we have today,” Bhojani said. The film's producers have hired a top stuntman from South Africa.

Interestingly, Commando 2 deals with a topic that is very hot today: finding and retrieving black money. "Black money is such a topical issue," said Bhojani. "Our film revolves around the plot of retrieving black money stashed abroad."

So, does Bhojani support the prime minister's demonetisation move? “I fully back the prime minister," Bhojani said. "In the short run, people will be inconvenienced, but this move will only help the country in the long run. You do wish, however, that the government had planned and executed the move better.”

With a fresh script and fresh director, Commando 2 will see two new heroines as well in Esha Gupta and Adah Sharma. Asked how these two actresses were chosen, Bhojani said, “There is no specific reason for picking them. We auditioned hundreds of girls and these two fit the bill perfectly. Their characters are pivotal to the story. I can't reveal more now.”

For a man who had a long and successful career as a comedian on TV, Bhojani doesn’t keep track of comedy shows today. “I have heard great things about Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain," he said. "Taarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashma is also very popular. The reason for these shows doing well is their content. If your content is not appealing, then it won't work."

Finally, will we get to see those chubby cheeks on the silver screen again, or will Bhojani remain behind the camera in future? "I have never planned my career," he replied. "I have always taken it one day at a time. You always look for good roles. I am a versatile actor and open to any challenging role. If something good comes, I will take it up. The same goes for direction, but at the moment I am just concentrating on Commando 2. We have put in a lot of effort to make a good film. I hope people appreciate it."

Commando 2 was earlier slated to be released on 6 January 2017, but it is now likely to be postponed to 3 March 2017.