Kareena and pregnant Genelia's surprise entry in 'Humshakals'

Indian Bollywood actors Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh and director Sajid Khan in Dubai to promote their movie 'Humshakals'. (Twitter: @Riteishd)

Kareena Kapoor taught him to pout, while Genelia D’Souza loaned him her skirt. But it was perhaps Gautami Kapoor who had her task cut out for her when Sajid Khan personally requested her to “de-hair” the husband.
 
If the blitzkrieg of ‘Humshakals’ promotions, trailers and interviews were missed by Bollywood fans tuned into the plethora of satellite channels beamed into your homes, the starry team and their director decided to hammer the message home just one more time with a stopover in Dubai.
 
Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Ram Kapoor, Esha Gupta and Tamannaah Bhatia were directed by Sajid Khan for a media and fan show and tell, which included some insider gossip and several hair-removing tales for the film’s three leading men.
 
Naturally, like all other ‘Humshakals’ public events, Bipasha Basu was conspicuous once again by her absence.
 
But the stars refused to allow that slight oversight dampen the experience in any way as they promoted their comic turn for the cameras, which sees its lead heroes in triple roles, one of which is a woman.
 
“My wife taught me the art of pouting on-screen,” confessed a sheepish look Saif, who added: “Kareena was just amused when she saw us for the first time in our feminine get-up. But both Riteish and my wife are actors so they understand the undertakings we have to sometimes endure for a role.”
 
To this Ram added: “So are you saying my wife isn’t an actress?”
 
An apologetic Saif added: “I’m still maintaining my hairless existence. It’s my new summer look. It keeps you cooler.”
 
While the Esha and Tamannaah simply rolled their eyes, Sajid cut in to say: “I think both Kareena and Genelia handled their husbands transformation into women very well, but for Gautami, it was slightly different.
 
“She is my childhood friend, so I had no qualms to ring her up and say, you have the task to shave off your husband’s hair for the film.”
 
Ram, who was holding his girth and laughing in the background, simply added: “My children laugh for a good 10 minutes each time they see me in my female getup on screen.”
 
Riteish, who to be a father in a few months, said: “For me, it was important to look the hottest between Saif and Ram. So one morning, while I was practicing in the mirror in my get-up, I guess I wasn’t feeling the costume I had on, so I simply reached for Genelia’s skirt.
 
“She’s been fighting with me since to get her skirt back!”
 
Tamannaah, who had largely been quiet, confessed: “Maybe now is the time to admit that one of the skirts Riteish wears in the film is also hanging in my wardrobe.”
 
Quiz Sajid between his three leading ladies and three heroes, who took more time in the make-up room and five heads turned towards Riteish.
 
Sajid said: “I used to dress up as a woman on one of my TV shows during my hosting days, so I rang up the same make-up artist when I wanted these guys to be transformed into women.
 
“He would take 45 minutes each to get Saif and Ram ready for shots, but two hours to get Riteish dolled up for the cameras. Go figure.”
 
The film’s promos, and its acquired humour, has also drawn flak from critics for its attempt at “cheap thrills” but quiz the team of ‘Humshakals’ and they are confident about its script.
 
Said Saif: “I remember after seeing ‘Housefull’, I had called up Sajid to congratulate him on his movie and had offered myself for his next. I wanted to do this.
 
“Sometimes you have to put aside your inhibitions and simply learn to laugh at yourself.”
 
Riteish had a slightly different take, saying: “There was a moment during the film’s shoot where I had to pretend to be a dog. There I was, on all fours, thinking what am I doing? But the sign of a good actor is to actually believe you are a dog in that moment and give it your best shot. It’s then up to the audience to find humour in it or not.”
 
Sajid, who has in the past also performed stand-up comedy in Dubai, didn’t also rule out that he would enjoy getting up on stage once again some day.
 
He said: “Stand-up comedy gives a comedian a whole new high on its own. I’m glad someone enjoyed my stints in Dubai. And yes, if I ever decide to take a break from the cameras, I most certainly will return to the stage. Get ready Dubai!”
 
The Dubai event was organised by Dream Advertising and Ministry of Events.
 
‘Humshakals’ releases on Thursday across Dubai.

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