Interview By: ROHAN A. SAWANT
It is very tough to find an actor like him who can get along with you from the first point of contact.
Straightforward as he always has been, he can tell you everything you ask for. From his upcoming film
to his thought and his disappointments, he got along in very candid mood with nothing to stop him
from. The ‘Bantai’ as he calls himself and everyone in a very open mouthed conversation
“I was promised by Salman Khan, Rohit Shetty, Prabhu Deva, Ekta Kapoor, Mukesh Chhabra but none of them have kept their promises.”
You have a movie coming out soon called Love Day which is based on the lives of 3 friends, so what prompted you to sign this movie?
The character of Monty which I am playing in the film is the reason that his two other best friends Sandy and Harry would always get into trouble. Whenever he is around them, they are surrounded by some trouble. Also my character is very straightforward which causes lot of problems to the other two. But the saddest part is that Monty has never wanted his friends to get screwed up. Even if he is trying to help his friends in some or the other way or be it anything else his friends would always get into troubles. But he is the one on whom the other two could bank on and also he was always there to help them no matter what. And the main crux of the film is that both the other characters realize Monty’s importance on Valentine’s Day. So basically there’s lot of depth in my character and the climax of the film is very crucial because his real importance is unveiled at the end of the movie. So in all I liked this character and it was something which I could easily relate to. Also in our lives everyone has one such friend whom can be a trouble when around but still will always be our best friend. This was an important reason that I decided to go ahead with this film.
Every director has his own vision, but in this case, the film has two debutant directors. So was that a difficult for you as an actor to get the tone of the film right?
The ideal thing about this movie was that both the directors had a similar friend like Monty in their lives. The characters of Sandy and Harry are actually our both directors. So this was an advantage for us all. So we did not have any difficulties while shooting. Basically what happens is that if we have two directors that can look problematic because then we have two different visions for the movie. But both the directors having a common friend as Monty in their lives made it easy for all of us, because then everyone knew what exactly was needed from both of them. Also both the directors are from Rajkumar Hirani sir’s camp and also we all emphasized on taking natural shots which has been complimented well with some outstanding dialogues.
So is there any relevance in the character of Monty and Ajaz Khan in real life?
Yes there are many similarities in us. That was also one of the reasons to accept this role. When the directors approached me with the script, they told me that I would be able to relate myself with the character. And I have at personal level experienced the same problems as my character has faced in the film. So it became a very easy task for me to step into Monty’s shoes because it was me but with some different name.
Do you think, for you being straightforward on and off screen are giving you options of monotonous roles?
I don’t think so. Yes I have received such roles in the past which have been just like me in real life. But I don’t think that has happened every time. I have done roles of various kinds in South which are different from what I am in real life. But as an actor I think that you will only get those roles which are close to you in real life. This has always happened and always will. Amitabh Bachchan sir would not have looked good doing the role of Veeru in ‘Sholay’ and vice-a-versa with Dharamji. So ideally the role chooses the actor and not the other way round. And what happens is that sometimes an actor gets fixated with a certain kind of role. Amrish Puriji was doing villain roles for a large amount of time. But then suddenly someone made him do a role of an orthodox Indian father in ‘DDLJ’ and then again a new trend was setup. So this becomes a trend and gets carried on for a long time till some other director looks at it differently. So basically what we can say is that it is all on a director’s perspective. So what I feel is that you stick to your basics and keep doing what suits you rather than trying to be audacious.
Is it a deliberate attempt from your side to do less film?
Initially people would forget the actors after certain amount of time. But now what has happened is that even if you do one film and take your time, there are other ways like social networking through which you can be in touch with all your fans. And for me, yes I do take some time after every film I do. I like to wait for the perfect character to come to me. But thankfully by God’s grace I have been receiving the roles that I want to do in South industry. I have done almost 17 films in South with almost every superstar that the South industry has. I am a well known villain there (laughs).
Is there any transition as an actor when you are working in South and then in Bollywood?
Acting has no language. For me acting is getting into your characters shoes and expressing the feelings according to the situation. It gets tough while reciting dialogues but then you have to work hard if you want success. So it can be challenging but it is fun in its own kind.
How have you managed to sustain yourself in the industry so far?
I feel that if you are talented, you need not be Ranbir Kapoor. Yes they do have good privileges because they are from a well known family and for an outsider like me or anyone else it takes lot of time. But when an outsider flourishes they go on to become Irrfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Shah Rukh Khan. People started knowing me because of Big Boss otherwise I don’t think anyone had seen me that much in the television series that I did. Also they remember me because I have made them laugh through my antics in the show. I have never been fake and have always shown what I am in real life. But I feel that I wasn’t credited for what I did.
Do you have any disappointments as such?
When I went in as a ‘Wild Card’ in Big Boss the shows TRP increased and I came third in it, which has never happened till now. I was promised by Salman Khan, Rohit Shetty, Prabhu Deva, Ekta Kapoor, Mukesh Chhabra but none of them have kept their promises. This is one of the biggest disappointments that I have. Every one appreciated the way I worked and they liked me on and off screen and promised me for work. But till date no one has turned up. It’s kind of like playing with my feelings. The important thing is that almost all of them have been strugglers at one time and have come up. So obviously they would know what a newbie has to go through. Salman bhai has been my inspiration to come in this industry. When your ideal supports everyone else and not you even after appreciating, then it is very heartbreaking. I strived hard for 20 years to get to a point where Salman Bhai would recognize me which I have done. I made him laugh and everyone else to tell him that he is my ideal and my sole inspiration. He could give a chance to Arman Kohli and many others but why not me? It is not that I don’t like him now; he has been my ideal and always will. But this is the disappointment that I have with him. But I just hope that he will soon come with a nice role for me alongside him who will make me more famous and that my work is appreciated on a wider scale. I am just hoping for the best.
“Salman Khan could give a chance to Arman Kohli and many others but why not me?”