Mar 18, 2023, 05:00 pm
Actor Kunal Kemmu says his foray into writing and direction has been a gradual and "therapeutic" process.
Kemmu is branching out as a director with “Madgaon Express”, an upcoming comedy-drama film backed by Excel Entertainment.
He developed an interest in writing and got some training while working on 2013 zombie comedy "Go Goa Gone", said the 39-year-old actor.
"As an actor, there are times when you don't have work.... Either you travel or you think about what you are doing. I started discovering new hobbies, picked up guitar, biking, etc. I had trained myself to write when I was working on 'Go Goa Gone'.
''I used that experience and whatever ideas I had, I started developing them," Kemmu told PTI in a virtual interview.
The actor said he wrote the script of ''Madgaon Express'' way back in 2014-15. ''It was a way for me to deal with what I was going through, it was therapeutic for me,'' he added. Kemmu said he is glad that Excel Entertainment's Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani found his script interesting and chose to produce the movie.
''There were people who found it interesting and over the years, there were talks about it. I was lucky to get the opportunity to direct it. I was in the mind space where I was ready to do that. I am happy that I took that step because so far, I have enjoyed myself," he said.
"Madgaon Express" stars Divyenndu, Pratik Gandhi, Avinash Tiwary, Nora Fatehi, Remo Dsouza, Upendra Limaye and Chhaya Kadam.
Kemmu, best known for starring in films such as "Kalyug", "Go Goa Gone", "Golmaal" franchise, ''Lootcase'' and series ''Abhay'', said he felt boxed into intense and comedic roles early on in his career.
''The constant struggle as an actor is when something works, it is very easy to get typecast. When I did 'Kalyug' and 'Traffic Signal', it was like, 'this is what he does''. Then 'Dhol', '99', 'Dhoondte Reh Jaaoge', happened and a lot of comedies came. I was stuck as only comedies came my way,'' he said.
After featuring in intense roles in ''Kalank'' and ZEE5 original ''Abhay'', Kemmu is now returning to the comedy genre with web show "Pop Kaun".
Currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar, the series is created and directed by Farhad Samji. It boasts of an impressive ensemble cast of ace comedians, including Johnny Lever, Saurabh Shukla, Rajpal Yadav, Chunky Panday, Jamie Lever.
Kemmu said he was attracted to the project as it gave him an opportunity to collaborate with legends of comedy.
''I felt it is a novel and interesting idea and with the casting coming into play, I thought it is something that I would enjoy doing.'' ''Pop Kaun'' also features a posthumous appearance by the late Satish Kaushik, who passed away earlier this month.
The actor said he was shocked by Kaushik's untimely demise.
''It has been a shocker. The day the news came, I thought somebody has got something wrong because four days ago we were doing interviews. I have known him since childhood because he was my dad's friend.
''While working on the show, I got the opportunity to interact with him, to hear his stories. He was somebody who always had a smile on his face," he added.
Hotstar Specials "Pop Kaun" is produced by Yam Productions.