How are you feeling right now after getting all the 'Best Debutant Award' for 2005?
It's quite good as I wasn't really expecting too much. 'Hazaaron Khwahishen Aisi [HKA]' wasn't really a mainstream film and to be acknowledged by so many, especially FILMFARE, it's a great feeling!
Looking at your four releases, you had a mainstream film 'Karam' coming in first followed by HKA, SINS, KAL....
Actually HKA was the first film I shot for and unfortunately its release got postponed.
You seem to be playing an intense character in all your released films and now 'Gangster' seems to be fifth in succession. Comments?
Well, quite frankly I don't understand the term 'intense'. All I can say is that the character I play has to come with certain conviction. I choose a certain film if the role and the character sound interesting.
Do you want to elaborate on what you really look forward in a role when it is narrated to you?
[After a long pause] I don't know, I guess it's more of a gut feel than anything else!
After 'Gangster', your next release is 'Fanaa'. What kind of role do you play in that film?
It's a guest appearance.
OK, but what is this appearance? Is it more of a romantic or a serious role?
Well, actually I am in a confidentiality agreement and hence can't talk about my role.
Hmm, then tell us something about 'Gangster'!
I play Daya. Daya is a underworld gangster. He falls in love with a girl called Simran [played by Kangna Ranaut]. It's basically a love story between the two characters Daya and Simran.
The promos are creating quite a bizz, isn't it?
Yup, that's true and I hope that the film meets the expectations of people and does well.
How was it working with Anurag Bose? He is again a new director you have worked with.
Anurag has done three films before and hence I won't consider him new. Also he has given a hit 'Murder'. So, it was really fine working with Anurag.
Since the film is said to be based on a real life love story, were you required to research on your character or you primarily came in and worked as per the script?
No, in fact not. There wasn't any research required for the role. I had a script in my hand and I pretty much knew what was expected out of me. I and Anurag discussed in length about our role before we started shooting but that's about it; there was no research required.
Though 'Gangster' is a love story, is there also a parallel underworld track to it?
No, it's more about a love story.
But the promos show some interaction between Gulshan Grover [who plays a don] and you as well.
There is a just a bit of this to show what Daya does but the overall track has a small part to play. The film is still basically a love story and the underworld track has no influence at all on the main story.
What was the most exciting thing that made you go for 'Gangster'?
See, it was the whole package as such. It was my director, my producer, the script and my role.
How was the new girl Kangna in the movie?
She is very good.
In each of the films that you have worked, there has been a debutant girl opposite you.
I just finished a film called ROCKIN [tentatively titled] that has Sushmita Sen as my female lead. The film is in the editing stage right now. The dubbing has to begin and the film would be released sometimes in June. Itâ€™s a very sweet love story of a singer and a cardiologist, which is played by me. After 'Kal', this is the second time I am working with a female director i.e. Tanuja Chandra.
Any particular actors or directors in your wish list?
[After a long pause] Well, quite a few. I would love to work with Aditya Chopra, David Dhawan amongst many others. Then off course I am working with Sudhir Mishra again for 'Bahaut Nikle Mere Armaan'!
Do you want to talk about what 'Bahaut Nikle...' is?
Well, its actually too preliminary to say because we have still 2-3 months to go before we start shooting. Right now I am working on 'Woh Lamhe'.
In 'Woh Lamhe', you play the biographical character of Mahesh Bhatt. So how much of it is fictional and how much is fact?
'Woh Lamhe' is not so much as a biographical film and has lot of fictional elements to it. There are just a few incidents that have been taken from the real life.
Some sections of media have portrayed you as a serious and a no-nonsense guy. How are you in real life?
I think I am a very easy going person. I am pretty chilled out. I am just very serious about my work but not very serious otherwise!