I was too shy, self-conscious to act: Remo Fernandes

New Delhi, Aug 30 (IANS) At 60, Remo Fernandes is going on from becoming a 'singing actor' to an 'actor' with "Bombay Velvet". He has been associated with the Hindi film industry for over 25 years, but it took him all these years to try acting as he was too shy and self-conscious.

Many would recall watching the musician's glimpses in movies like "Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha" and "David", but he clarifies that they were "singing roles".

"There, I sang my song, that's all - no acting required as such. It was the same in all the previous movies in which I've appeared - be it 'Jalwa' and 'Pyaar to Hona Hi Tha'," Remo told IANS in an email interview, before he left for Sri Lanka to shoot some of his last scenes for the Anurag Kashyap film.

" 'Bombay Velvet' is the first film where I'm not singing a single song. I have a purely acting and speaking role and that is what I'm thrilled about, as it is my first-time experience as an actor," he added.

Known for hit tracks like "Humma humma", "O, meri munni" and "Pyaar to hona hi tha", Remo said he always saw himself as a musician.

"I was too shy and self-conscious to act. It never even struck me to try out for an actor's part, even when I was younger. But now, on being offered this short, but intense and significant role by Kashyap's casting director out of the blue, I feel that acting would be a great new adventure to go on once in a while," said the Goa-based artist.

He is already "thrilled" by Kashyap's "compliments and praise" on his acting.

In the film, Remo plays a Portugese musician, and he fitted the bill for the role as Kashyap wanted someone who was fluent in Portuguese.

It has been "beautiful" working with Kashyap, said Remo, adding: "I love his actor-handling, and I love the kind of films he makes. The most satisfying bit was to hear him say a couple of times after my shots: 'Great! You are a very natural actor. You must act more from now on.'"

Remo's real life experiences helped him add realistic dimensions to his character.

"I play the part of a nobleman who loves the arts and horse riding back in the Portuguese days. Since I saw and observed people in my own family and around me in Goa at that time, I was able to slip into the character quite easily," he added.

Remo hit the Hindi film scene like a storm with his title track in the 1987 film "Jalwa". His fame and popularity found a new high when he forayed into pop and rock albums such as "Bombay city" and "O, Meri Munni".

The Padma Shri awardee recently composed "Maria Pitache" and "The Lighthouse Symphony" for Bejoy Nambiar's "David", a film which released simultaneously in Hindi and Tamil earlier this year.

Over the years, Remo has donned different hats, but he admits that "music will always remain my first and greatest love and passion".

But, he said, "that does not prevent me from following other passions as well, such as designing and drawing, writing, scripting and directing and editing my own music videos, and so on."

"And now it seems like I've discovered yet another passion - acting," he added.

"Bombay Velvet" is based on Mumbai in the 1950s and 1970s. The film, slated to release on Christmas 2014, features Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma in key roles.

(Nivedita can be contacted at nivedita.s@ians.in)