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Shekhar Suman
Why Shekhar Suman wants to gamble with 7 roles
Chor Machaye Shor sees the actor in a daring comeback on the big screen

Ronjita Kulkarni

Double roles are nothing new. Established actors like Dilip Kumar (Ram Aur Shyam) to contemporary ones like Salman Khan (Judwaa), from Hema Malini and Sridevi (Seeta Aur Geeta and Chaalbaaz) to Kajol (Dushman), and from Rajesh Khanna (Aradhana) to Kamal Haasan (Abhay), the audience has accepted them.

Actors like Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan have even done triple roles in Bairaag and Mahaan respectively.

Rarely has any actor done more than three roles in a film, besides Sanjeev Kumar. Kumar essayed nine roles in Naya Din Nayi Raat, a remake of the Sivaji Ganesan and Savitri starrer in Tamil, Navratri.

Now, television icon Shekhar Suman will be seen in seven roles in David Dhawan's latest comedy, Chor Machaye Shor. Suman makes a comeback to Hindi films with this Bobby Deol-Shilpa Shetty-Bipasha Basu film. He says, "My roles include Bobby's friend, his mother, a prostitute, a stylish Madonna type of woman, a don, a Sardar and a hippy."

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Suman had earlier worked in films like Utsav (with Rekha), Tere Bina Kya Jeena (with Moon Moon Sen), Naache Mayuri (with Sudha Chandran) and Pati Parmeshwar (with Dimple Kapadia). He had even acted in some B-grade films.

Not having found much success, he shifted to television.

Suman got his big break in Jaya Bachchan's comedy sitcom, Dekh Bhai Dekh, and went on to make his own shows Movers And Shakers and the recent Simply Shekhar. In fact, he is nicknamed the Amitabh Bachchan of the small screen.

Now, almost ten years after he was last seen on screen, Suman gets ready for his film release. "Playing so many roles is a gamble," he says. "But the characters are interestingly woven in the film. In fact, they help elevate the film. I hope people like it."

His main role is Guru, Bobby's best friend. Guru always tries to help Bobby --- a thief-turned-cop who always gets into trouble --- by assuming different characters. "But they are not disguises. I play a theatre actor in the film, so all the roles are different characters," says Suman.

Shekhar Suman The story goes like this: Bobby robs a diamond and hides it in a building before getting arrested. When he is released from jail, he discovers that the hideout is a police headquarter. The rest of the film is about how he tries to retrieve the gem.

Suman admits that out of the seven characters, playing the women was the most difficult. "Though Chor Machaye Shor is slapstick comedy, I did not want my characters to be caricatures. In the film, Om Puri is in love with me (as the prostitute) and Paresh Rawal in love with me (as the stylish Madonna). I try to trap Paresh, who plays a policeman."

After Chor Machaye Shor, Suman will be seen in Kundan Shah's Ek Se Badhkar Ek and two Prakash Jha films: Ganga Jal and an untitled film.

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