Luke Kenny's English looks stood as an obstacle in his acting career for almost a decade, but with his immaculate performance in the recent hit "Rock On", the actor feels he has been able to draw the director's attention away from his appearance to his art.
It took almost a decade for any director to cast him in a mainstream role in any Bollywood film after his cameo in debut movie "Bombay Boys".
"The doors of perception have opened for me post-'Rock On'. The filmmakers' view about my being an actor has changed. After 'Bombay Boys', all offers that I got were to portray a foreigner in a film because of my looks," Luke told IANS in an interview.
Set in Mumbai, "Rock On" has an urban feel and revolves around a group of four aspiring musicians who form a rock band called "Magik". Luke plays the character of keyboard player Rob Nancy in the film, which also has Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal and Purab Kohli.
"There was no concern over looks for Rob's role in 'Rock On'. The filmmakers were very sure of what they were going for by taking me and this shows the whole change in their mindset. I am glad how even the audiences have accepted the change," Luke said.
"Rock On" received rave reviews and wide recognition from both critics and audiences and Luke says that the response to the film is beyond their imagination.
"It has been an absolutely fantastic experience. The film has taken a life of its own! It has been accepted by people from all age groups and has reached a universal audience. Our basic aim was to reach people, but we never imagined it will reach such a large number of people."
Luke thinks that his role in the movie is very similar to his real life.
"When I heard the script, I noticed there were a couple of instances in Rob's character that had some shadows of my own life. The things that happened to Rob happened to me too as both of us are very close to music, no matter what happens in life," said Luke, who became India's first male video jockey on channel [V] in 1995.
He started his career as a solo dancer in 1989 after getting inspired by Michael Jackson and won awards. Later he joined Arshad Warsi's dance team as a chorus dancer and assistant choreographer and worked there from 1990 to 1992.
During 1993-1995, he worked as a disc jockey with Audiophile, a DJ consolidation company, hopping up to three venues in a night.
Luke says that he has been versatile throughout his life and would like to go on the same way. "I am an artiste at the end of the day and one should not restrict oneself to a particular field. I have followed the same jargon all my life. There is nothing definite for me that I would be doing though I wish now that it is a film," he maintained.
Luke also writes a weekly music column - If I May Say So - in the Mumbai edition of Hindustan Times supplement HT Caf that appears every Friday.
"Music has always been with me since the beginning whether it be dancing on stage, playing a disc jockey or a video jockey. I also had a band in college called Greek with two of my friends who were brothers Adam and Eddy. I was the lead vocalist.
"We played original songs but gradually the little bit of disillusionment settled in like in the film. May be now we revive our band some day," said the actor.
Luke also revealed that he is penning a few scripts now that he has hit the nail with "Rock On".
"I am working on some scripts now that I have a bit of exposure. I can't talk much about it right now, but at the end of the day, they will be good stories irrespective of the genre they belong to."
Indo-Asian News Service