Entertainment

Exclusive: Tamannaah Bhatia, Riteish Deshmukh on rom-coms, Plan A Plan B and more


There is something to be said for the popularity of the ‘opposite of attraction’ game. It easily creates the most compelling romantic stories in film and television. Pair that with an enemy-to-lover arc and you have a recipe that has been mined for decades and is quite successful. That’s exactly what Plan A Plan B – starring Tamannaah Bhatia and Riteish Deshmukh tries to do. The recently released romantic comedy revolves around a matchmaker and a divorce lawyer navigating love and relationships.

In an exclusive interview with Filmfare, the two opened up about screen space sharing, rom-coms, and why we’re so obsessed with the aforementioned rom-coms.

Opposites attract and antagonize tropes, but it never gets old. Why do you think that?
Riteish: Of course it’s overdone and people often make movies like that but what’s new in our film and the reason why one would love any movie like this is the dynamic between opposing worlds and the world they came from. There is always a character who believes in love and one who does not believe in love or one who talks too much and one who talks too little – whatever the move may be, it is very important that they always match and connect with your audience. Only then will a movie work. In this movie, you have a matchmaker and a divorce lawyer. Their worlds collide and both carry a certain baggage. She refuses to continue while campaigning for people to come together and in fact he is advocating for people to separate but he refuses to separate from his own wife. That is something that is great.

Tamannaah, your character is a pretty old-fashioned matchmaker, so does she like you?

Tamannaah: She basically inherited the entire matchmaking business from her mother (played by Poonam Dhillon). She is a psychologist so her way of handling matchmaking is very different from the old school way so she took all these tests. Her ways are more scientific and slightly different. Going back to all the opposites attracts – I’ve seen that dynamic in my own home. My parents are really different people but when I see them together there are certain basic points that are very similar. I feel like even in the movie I notice that what these two characters are going through is similar. Both stuck – he was in his situation and I was in mine. So what brings them together is really the similarity, not the difference. Basically they don’t like each other. That’s what we’re trying to establish but most importantly, it’s a delightfully relaxing watch. There are not many rom-coms that I have seen in recent times on OTT platforms. There’s a wave of lots of horror and dark movies, which is great. That content is mandatory but I feel that because there is such a large amount, the rom-com is a new watch for everyone. And sometimes you just want the lunch you know, so it’s a great companion for that time when you don’t want to trigger your own emotions.

Tamannaah Bhatia, Riteish Deshmukh

Riteish, you have a perfect relationship with your wife Genelia D’Souza. Where do you find the skepticism to play a divorce lawyer?
Riteish: Well, imagine I’m talking about dating apps. I don’t know what a dating app is. But yes, I think everyone has cynicism inside of them but they choose to be better people. I was talking to someone recently about my character in Ek Villain and compared if that character is close to mine. When I was filming Ek Villain, I thought, “Can I kill someone?” And, of course, anyone can harm anyone but our upbringing and upbringing teach us the difference between good and bad – the right things to do. So all I’m trying to say is that there’s a moral compass in all of us and you choose where to go. When you talk about skepticism, I think we are all capable and we choose to be better people, at least most of us. And my character in the movie is one of them, so I’m happy to play this character.
What do you learn from sharing screen space with each other?
Riteish: I was just thinking, for an actor to have a capable co-star who is good at everything, whether it’s comedy or romance or romance, it not only makes your job easier, it elevates the bar. scene. So it’s really great acting with Tamannaah.
Tamannaah: All the blessings in my comics that I get from him so that I can play great comic characters for the rest of my life. I don’t think Riteish knew this, but I was inspired by him when we were working on another project that day. And I keep telling him that I always have it in me. Why am I inspired by him? Well, what I’ve always noticed in funny people is that they have to put others down to make themselves look funny. That’s why I don’t like that, I don’t like that you have to put someone down to break a joke. But when I met Riteish, I realized he was one of the few funny people who didn’t really offend anyone. I feel that’s where I get really inspired and feel that it’s possible not to criticize someone and make jokes. So I actually learned that from him.
What makes or breaks a rom-com hero and heroine?
Ritual: Take any rom-com, the reason why you love it is that you find a hero or a heroine that you identify with and at the same time, aspire to be. I felt it when I first watched Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. I think I want to be Raj. That is why Shah Rukh Khan has always been an inspiration to me, as a person as well as an actor. Take, for example, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Shahid Kapoor from Jab We Met. Even in movies like Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail and every other Hollywood comedy, you’ll find that their situations are unique. You suddenly feel that you want two people together because you feel love. The feeling of love is what makes or breaks it.

Tamannaah: I think that’s the script. That’s where much of it begins. That is the fact of the matter. As an actor, you can enhance it. You can add magic to it or it drops, depending on how good or bad the actor is. People keep asking more and more about chemistry but I find it has to be on paper first. Once it’s on paper, to translate it, you need good actors who can do it. And yes, I’ve seen cinematic magic happen when great actors come together. The movies Riteish mentioned are also exactly my favorite movies. So I second that.

Tamannaah Bhatia, Riteish Deshmukh

What is your script selection process?
Riteish: I just feel that once someone tells the story within the first 15 minutes, you know if you want to continue the story or not. But if after 15 minutes, somewhere in the middle if you’re thinking “what’s going to happen next, I’d love to know.” End it if you think it’s beautiful and sleep on it and wake up thinking about it. That’s my process, I read the script and I see how I feel about it after two days. So there must be a topic beyond a good script that will interest you. That’s it, that’s what got me into a script. Then you figure out how it goes with the director and that’s how the journey begins.
Tamannaah: For me, the teams are really important. I think the probability of making a good movie is higher when you have better teams because I think movies are team-based. It’s not something just one person does. So when there’s a good team in the presence of a solid script, that’s a good sign. I’m also someone who really listens to movie scripts. If it doesn’t appeal to me in some way – sometimes the groundbreaking quality of the script can be compelling, sometimes the characterization can be compelling, you never know. But I’m always looking for a story that can engage an audience. In the end, for me, the teams are the most important because I see that it makes the difference.

Plan A Plan B is now on OTT.

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