PeepingMoon Exclusive: I always wanted to act, couldn't do it before because kisi khandani actor ke ghar janm nahi liya tha- Ganesh Acharya on Dehati Disco

Ganesh Acharya, who has delivered numerous blockbuster songs with actors like Govinda, is all set to showcase his acting skills in Dehati Disco. The choreographer turned actor aspires to revive old-school Bollywood dance form through the film. Dehati Disco releases on May 27.

Ahead of Dehati Disco's release, PeepingMoon spoke to Ganesh about making a career in acting. Talking to us, the ace choreographer revealed that acting was his childhood dream which he couldn't pursue in his younger days. He further spoke about bringing back the desi dance form and showcasing it to the world. 

Excerpts from the interview:

What’s the inspiration behind Dehati Disco?

The main motive of Dehati Disco is to highlight our Hindustani culture. There is a strong and beautiful message in the film and it throws light on the different forms of dance we have in India. 

What’s easier- acting or dancing? 

Dancing is way easier, acting is tough (laughs). Since it is a dance-themed film, it was easy. When I heard the story, I felt it was best suited for me. I am playing the role of a father in the film. 

From a choreographer to an actor, was the progression natural or you had to wait to get the right opportunity? 

I wanted to become an actor since childhood but circumstances didn't permit me to follow my dream. Now, I feel I lead a better and happier life as a choreographer. God must have planned this for me. Whenever I got a chance, I tried my hand at acting. (In Ghatak, ABCD & South films) Through Dehati Disco, I am getting an opportunity to headline a film.  

Were you nervous when you gave your first shot for Dehati Disco?

See, a person should be serious about his/her work. For Dehati Disco, we did multiple workshops. This film was taxing physically too. During the lockdown and while shooting for Bell Bottom in Scotland, I worked on myself. I was definitely nervous but also confident that I can pull it off. 

Do you feel Bollywood is not making enough dance-related films? 

There have been so many films on dance like Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955), Navrang (1959) etc. However, in the last few years, films are being made only on Western dance forms. After a very long time, we are coming up with a desi dance-themed film. 

Dehati Disco is an attempt to put Indian Bollywood-style dancing on a global pedestal. Do you sense any pressure?

Of course. Also, I cannot wait to see how people react to the film and whether they accept it wholeheartedly. 

You’ve been in the industry for decades. How easy or difficult was it for you to get your first choreography project?

In Mumbaiyya bhasha, I would say 'papad belne pade'. My father wanted to become a dance director. When I was 10, he passed away and after that, I had to take his dream and wish ahead. I was a junior artist at 12-13 years, did group dances at 15, when I was 16-17, I became an assistant and then, by 18-19, I was an independent choreographer. I have struggled a lot in life. 5 years after becoming a choreographer, I got my first hit, Goriya Churana Mera Jiya (Coolie No. 1). Struggle ka joh maza hai, voh bohot accha hai. Uski vajah se hum zameen pe rehte hai. 

Go on…

Bohot se logon ne dhakke maare hai, bohot logon ne gale lagaye, bohot logon ne bola tum layak nahi ho aur voh sab cheezon ko maine positively liya. Struggle toh accha hi hota hai, voh takleef acchi hoti hai. 

You always wanted to become an actor. What were the circumstances that stopped you?

Actor ban sake vaise halat nahi thi, kisi khandani actor ke ghar janm nahi liya tha. I lived in a chawl in Santacruz. Har insaan joh chhota hota hai, uske sapne bade hote hai aur voh sapne pure karne mein bohot mehnat lagti hai. Din ka khana ghar pe aa jaye vaisa bhi nahi tha. Dancers ki zindagi bohot ajeeb hoti hai. Mehnat kar rahe hai, student ban ke reh rahe hai. 

Bollywood stars, my audience, and other industries supported me throughout my journey. People still like my work, isse badi baat kuch nahi hai. 

People are now recreating your songs and dance steps. Are you liking them?

I am loving it. I am remaking my own songs. I did Judwaa 2 and Coolie No. 1. It feels great to keep yourself up to date. It is just like my rebirth. 

You just mentioned that Bollywood stars helped you fulfill your dreams, and gave you recognition. Is there any one actor who played the biggest role in your career?

Govinda. He is my Godfather in the industry. Voh agar mujhe bulati nahi, gane dete nahi toh main Ganesh Acharya nahi hota. All the new actors love me. I am close to Akshay Kumar. He is the one who teaches me a lot about life.