Labour of love

Labour of love

Bollywood’s newlyweds Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D’Souza give us an insight into married life and tell us more about this week’s release Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya

By David Light

Published: Tue 21 Feb 2012, 8:57 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 1:10 AM

It’s a love story worthy of a decent rom-com plot itself. Boy meets girl at work, boy woos girl and the couple fall in love and eventually get married. When you’re two of the most recognisable faces in India, however, the media glare and constant probing for stories can only add further strain to the most fragile of phenomena – a healthy relationship.

For the past eight years, however, both Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D’Souza have had a relatively easy ride in the gossip pages, their obvious affection and charming personas seeing them through to their nuptials earlier this month.

Meeting on the set of 2003’s Tujhe Meri Kasam, where the duo both made their acting debuts, Riteish and Genelia hit it off immediately. But it was not until after the release of 2004’s Masti, in which they again both starred, that the couple were officially an item.

Since the critically acclaimed Indra Kumar film, the two have not shared the screen until now with this weekend’s Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, directed by Mandeep Kumar.

Following the current trend for romantic comedies (well, we have just celebrated Valentine’s Day) the now husband and wife team are looking to spread a little romance and a lot of laughs with the UTV production.

“My character is a driver and works hard for his living,” began Riteish when City Times talked to the pair over the phone in Delhi. “He’s saving money to buy his own business and one day finds the cash is missing. He goes to his employer’s house whose daughter is being pushed into a marriage she doesn’t want. He ends up accidently kidnapping the daughter and they both go on the run. It’s a story of how opposites attract because she’s a chirpy, energetic and happy-go-lucky character from a very privileged background, and he is very sensible if a tad lowly.”

The plot takes in the ups and downs of two people hailing from seemingly different worlds as they look to escape their every day lives and discover that ultimately love conquers all.

“This a fully-rounded role. You have to be funny and spirited, but you also have to be convincing that you’re falling in love,” Genelia stated when asked about her character. “I had lots of fun and these are the kind of parts I really like to play.”

‘Spirited’ would be an apt description of the firecracker that is Genelia if her cheerleading performances for the Celebrity Cricket League’s (CCL) Mumbai Heroes are any evidence to go by. At a recent match played in Sharjah the dynamo kept up the chants and flag waving throughout the entire four-hour meet.

“I like to be happy and all over the place,” the 24-year-old actress commented on her skills.

Ostensibly inseparable if their work commitments are anything to go by, not only do the actors appear on-set together, but Riteish is also a star player for the aforementioned Heroes, despite illness ruling him out for the first two UAE based games. It was put to them both when they will find some alone time to celebrate their marriage out of the spotlight.

“Getting married after dating for eight years is great. But the truth is so far we haven’t had time to spend alone with each other. Straight after our wedding we both went into the CCL and then began promoting this film. After the film releases we will finally get some time off together,” Riteish told us.

“It’s beautiful to have started this journey together,” Genelia added on how she felt about tying the knot. “This month began with our wedding and has continued with our work both in the cricket League and films. It’s been extremely busy.”

Too busy to celebrate St. Valentine’s day of romance?

“Yes!” Genelia revealed. “This year we were just promoting our film, but there were loads of college students at one of our promo destinations and it was nice to spend it with them. I don’t think you need one day to celebrate love, but I am glad there is one day to remember it.

“I’m the kind of person that enjoys moments together. I enjoy the little things like when Riteish and I go for a coffee. For me that is the most romantic thing – just being with the person I love the most,” Genelia added when it was put to her whether she was a particularly romantic person in general.

Having not been in front of the cameras together for such a long time, along with their evolving personal relationship, developments in the way each performer goes about their craft must have been witnessed. It is notoriously difficult to create on-screen chemistry between two actors who are romantically involved, so how did each of them find pretending to fall in love again and their more mature acting styles?

After taking a moment to reflect on the question, perhaps an indicator that they had not thought about it as a result of their comfort with each other, Genelia was the first to respond.

“We started off together as newcomers, but now we are further along in the industry. We have become better actors, I have noticed.”

“It’s different because she has worked so much over the last eight years that she has developed as an actor,” Riteish interjected. “It was different to get used to someone who is probably a better actor than you. But it was fun. We discovered each other as actors again.”

Does he truly believe his wife is the more talented artist?

“When you watch the film you will agree with what I’m saying,” came the proudly stated answer.

Not happy with taking all the praise, Genelia then reacted with some tender words for her beau.

“Riteish has the gift of the gab and he gets in improvised lines, which are brilliant. For me, acting is all about reacting and it’s nice to share the screen with one of the best in the business.”

As for what the future holds, the team are looking very much to the short term.

“I hope we work together again soon, but right now we’re just focussing on Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya,” Genelia said before Riteish concluded with a bit of typical promotional business.

“It’s made in a comic budget and it has been promoted correctly. I believe people will enjoy it. It has been made with a lot of love and care and that will show through.

This film is extremely special to us and I hope it’s as special for everyone else.”

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