"Dancers are like zombies, you try to kill them and they will only resurrect themselves,” asserts actor, dancer, vlogger and writer Avinash Dwivedi, who has scripted a horror comedy for Ronnie Screwvala’s production house, RSVP. Kakuda is currently being shot with Riteish Deshmukh and Sonakshi Sinha.
He admits that the idea and the basic plot of the film was triggered by something he saw when he visited a small town. “At this point I can’t reveal what it was as it would kill the suspense. What I can say is that Kakuda explores the legend of a strange curse in that village,” he shares.
Is it along the lines of the Shraddha Kapoor-Rajkummar Rao starrer, Stree, which is also rooted in several myths and urban legends around a ghost who comes knocking at night, trying to lure unsuspecting men out of their homes? “Apart from the fact that both are horror comedies, there are no similarities between the two films,” Avinash says firmly.
The actor, who completed the story and screenplay of Kakuda in just four months, had a brush with the fear factor himself when visiting Chandigarh with some friends. “Our hotel room was unique where everything in it added up to the number 13, including 13 nails that had been hammered into the wall and from which hung 13 showpieces. Since we have all been told from a young age that 13 is an unlucky number, this started playing on our minds. At night, we thought we heard some voices and were terrified. But because we were in a group, it was more like a horror comedy,” he reminisces with a laugh.
Meanwhile, Avinash who is a trained dancer has returned to his first love, dance, after many years, with the music video of a song titled Kahani. Directed by Imraan Furniturewala, it introduces the trending dance form on social media, ‘Shuffle Steps’, in the film/video format.
“‘Shuffle Steps’ is our USP, our novel hook. And during the shoot, all the technicians on the set were trying to copy us. It was so much fun to see the madness around, even if they didn’t always get it right,” he chuckles, confident that people will love the moves and will soon be imitating this dance form too.
Avinash was earlier seen in the title role of Ram Kamal Mukherjee’s Rickshawala, for which he underwent several workshops to learn how to pull a hand rickshaw in Kolkata’s narrow gallis. He is looking forward to working with the writer-director again. “We are planning a few more films together,” he admits, adding that he also has a few more music videos lined up. “There is a web series coming up soon and I have completed a film, Colour Black, with Sanjay Mishra and Purab Kohli, which should release by the year-end. There are few more writing assignments which I can’t disclose as I am under a contract,” he says.
His wife, Sambhavna Seth, and he are currently vlogging together and have more than two million followers on their YouTube channel, Sambhavna Seth Entertainment. “People really enjoy our chemistry,” he beams, confiding that miya-biwi now want to do a dance reality show together. “Or a music video and that should happen soon with Imraan bhai probably.”
Avinash has won many dance reality shows, including Ibibo iVideostar, an online dance reality show judged by choreographer duo Bosco Martis and Caeser Gonsalves in 2009, and Dance Sangram, judged by the late Saroj Khan, the following year. He admits that he used to be quite scared of the late choreographer. “Masterji was very senior, with years of experience and several awards. Top stars respected her and touched her feet. I was lucky to get her signature blessing thrice. She gave me Rs 101 every time she liked my dance. I still have those three Rs 100 notes in my wallet even though I have changed my wallet at least 10 times since,” he confides.
Which is his favourite dance competition at the moment? Would he judge one? Pat comes the answer, “Dance Plus, and yes, in the future I would like to judge such shows,” he signs off.