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Kunal Kemmu on directorial debut 'Madgaon Express': No one knew I was writing it

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Mumbai, Actor Kunal Kemmu says he had set out to test his writing skills with ‘Madgaon Express‘ and little did he imagined the endeavour would evolve into a feature film that would also give him the opportunity to step into the director‘s role. No one knew that Kemmu was developing the script of the comedy film, which was released in theatres on Friday and has been praised by the critics.

“I didn’t even know this would become a film. This (writing) was just like a practice session for me to see if I can do this. It was a solitary process which I went through, and no one knew that I was writing it.

“In fact, I thought if it ever gets made, maybe I’ll play one of the boys, that’s the intent with which I wrote it,” the actor told PTI in an interview.

“Madgaon Express” follows the journey of three childhood friends – played by Gandhi, Divyenndu and Tiwary – who embark on a trip to Goa that goes completely off-track.

Kemmu, best known for starring in films such as “Kalyug”, “Golmaal” franchise, “Lootcase” and series “Abhay”, said he first got the idea for “Madgaon Express” when he was working on the zombie comedy movie “Go Goa Gone” (2015).

A common friend at Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s production banner Excel Entertainment heard the narration in 2021 and decided to produce the movie. The actor said he decided to start his directing career with a light-hearted film as the genre is one of the most watched worldwide. “Comedy is something which is easily palatable and it’s one of the most watched genres in the world. As an actor, I’ve gotten so much love for comedies.

“Also, it was easy to sell that he is good at comedy, let’s at least read what he’s written in comedy. I’m blessed that I got the opportunity,” Kemmu, 40, said.

According to the makers, “Madgaon Express”, which also features Nora Fatehi, Upendra Limaye and Chhaya Kadam, earned Rs 1.63 crore on the opening day at the domestic box office.

“The first agenda of something that is theatrical has to be entertainment because that’s why a person is leaving his home, driving to this place, spending that money to get entertained… If you’re not going to entertain him, then there is no point,” the first-time director said.

Despite his fondness for comedy, Kemmu said he does not want to limit himself to the genre as a filmmaker.

“I’m not limited by comedy, not even as an actor and definitely hope not as a filmmaker. As an actor, I can tell you what it feels to do a comedy but as a director, this is so new for me and I’ve enjoyed it. I don’t know what the experience of making something else would be like.”

Even though acting remains his “first love”, Kemmu said he will keep writing and directing films in future.

“I’ve enjoyed being a director so if I’m given opportunities in the future, I would like to make films. I would figure out a way to balance it. As an actor, you can do multiple projects in a year but as a director it’s very tough, it takes a lot of time and commitment,” he said.

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