A lot is heard and said about monkey business. Mostly referred to in plain humour, seldom does it happen that ‘monkeying around’ takes any serious connotation.
This is what happened during the shooting of Sajid Khan’s Housefull where a monkey plays a key role in a funny fight sequence. Though the film does boast of an A plus setup with the likes of Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, Lara Dutta, Riteish Deshmukh, Arjun Rampal and Jiah Khan towering the cast, it was the pint sized monkey that demanded most attention. Reason? Its Hollywood roots. This is the same monkey who is nothing less than a star after having worked in a mega blockbuster like Pirates of the Caribbean. No wonder, ‘starry’ tantrums were at its peak during the shooting of Housefull.
Laughs Sajid Khan, “It was as amusing as it gets. My first film Heyy Babyy was a multi starrer and it went along so smoothly. People asked me that how would I handle my three heroes and three heroines in Housefull but I used to laugh it away wondering what was the fuss all about. After all most of the cast members are my friends first, and have immense faith in me and each of them was quite clear about his or her role in the film. This is why I always believed that the shooting of Housefull will go on smoothly. Little did I know that of all characters in my film, it would be a monkey that would end up throwing so many tantrums.”
For a highlight sequence in the film, Akshay Kumar gets all troubled due to this monkey which snatches Deepika’s mobile and runs away. In the incidents that follow, Akshay gets all beaten up by the monkey; so much so that there are multiple slaps that he ends up receiving with tell tale marks all over his face. While Akshay was sport enough to live with the on-screen humiliation, all for the sake of his audience and the fun that the sequence promised, it seemed that the monkey had other ideas. He wanted to give that ‘perfect take’ and the makers of Housefull had no choice but to give in to the demand.
There was an entire cast and crew at a location on London where they were paying lakhs by day and here was a monkey, correction – a star monkey, which needed at least 15 days to get into the ‘skin of the character’. So it took its own time to get trained, get into a completely perfect state of mind to ‘act’ with its co-stars and then arrive on sets.
So is it just a monkey that found itself to be in constant spotlight or is there anything more that Housefull has to offer, as far as its non-human cast is concerned? Well, for audience, it indeed seems that there is a promising entertainer ahead once Housefull releases with its mega stars that include human beings as well as animals. As for the rest, watch this space for more developments as the film readies itself for a 30th April release.