It's sad but true. Choreographer-turned-director Ganesh Acharya, who made Govinda dance to innumerable hit songs in the past, has fallen out with the star.
The reason? They couldn't see eye to eye on the way Acharya's second directorial venture "Money Hai To Honey Hai" was shaping up.
"Ganesh Acharya had promised me that Akshay Kumar would be making a guest appearance for one of the songs 'Mash-a-Allah'. The next thing I know, Ganesh himself was dancing on screen in that song. Yeh ek bhanyankar surprise thaa (It was a terrible surprise for me)," Govinda told IANS.
"It was something beyond my imagination to see Ganesh in Akshay's place. There was a vast difference between what Ganesh had said and what he finally delivered," he added.
Recounting a string of incidents that led to the sad fall-out between the two, Govinda burst into peals of laughter. He said the final product was different from the script that the director narrated to him.
"Film ko badi maar maari hai critics ne (Critics have trashed the film)... that needn't have been. What Ganesh narrated to me and what he finally shot and edited are somewhat different - I warned Ganesh not to make a lengthy film. I told him to keep it down to approximately two hours and stop getting lost in subplots. I asked him to cut 12 minutes of the playing time. He didn't listen to me. That's okay.
"From now on I've decided to be only an actor in a film. There's no need to advise the director specially if he thinks he knows best."
Govinda regrets the termination of such a long association.
"I don't know how it happened. Even members of one's own family stop listening to you after a point. Ganesh felt I shouldn't interfere in his writing skills, and that I should just listen to him on the sets.
"Thoda ussmein director jag gaya (the director in him become aggressive)," the actor observed sarcastically.
Govinda especially objected to the introduction of Prem Chopra's character.
"He never discussed it with me. I didn't even know about this character's existence in the plot. When I finally saw the film, I asked Ganesh, 'Bhaiyya, yeh kya hai?' I think somewhere while discussing the commercial angle with me, Ganesh lost his way.
"I can't figure out when Prem Chopraji came into my picture. And why. He's a senior actor and I felt Ganesh was portraying him crudely. I did tell him that."
Govinda feels Acharya, who debuted as a director with "Swami", was influenced by another actor in the movie.
"I don't want to name anyone. But Ganesh suddenly stopped listening to my advice. Suddenly he withdrew from any interaction with me. He became very quiet. He was lost in his own world. Ganesh left me no choice but to keep silent after that. Bhaiyya, chup hi rehne mein bhalaai hai (I thought it's better for me to keep quite).
"But I'll say this: My films usually speak a language of innocence. That was lost in 'Money Hai To Honey Hai'. I thought I was doing a film about team spirit. Little did I know that so much bitterness would creep in. Even in the choreography I found Upen Patel's song to be dicey."
Govinda didn't appreciate the spoofs on TV tycoon Ekta Kapoor and businessman Vijay Mallya.
"I don't believe in poking fun at people who have achieved so much. I didn't know about Ekta. But I was told about Vijay Mallya and Laxmi Mittal's names being used. I was told they were being mentioned with reverence, so I kept quiet."
The "Honey" experience has left Govinda sober.
"I've decided to be an obedient worker on the sets, no more. I tried to reason with Ganesh to a point. I failed. We decided to work together because of our long-standing friendship. But as the shooting progressed we became distant. That's when I became silent and moved to one corner. He suddenly changed. This often happens in this industry."
Indo-Asian News Service
For daily celebrity news updates sign up for our newsletter www.masala.com/newsletter