You are a fabulous dancer but there won’t be any dances in ‘Vivaah’…
I think it is very wrong for an actor that if people think I am a good dancer then I should force upon a director because that is spoiling the product. I am doing many films and playing different characters and the focus should be on getting the character right rather than doing what the public wants. I think if you put a song at wrong place in the film then people may go out and have popcorns during the song. So, I think it’s a misconception.
Your last two films ‘Chup Chupke’ and ‘36 China Town’ were multi-starrers….So how important is ‘Vivah’ for you considering it’s a solo film….?
‘Vivah’ is a very important film for me. But every film is very important for me. I don’t look at films that whether they are single starrers or multi starrers. The important thing for me creatively is to be part of good stories and to get good characters to play. If you look at it from other point of view then there are other big stars who are doing films with other heroes. My focus is to improve myself as an actor.
What’s your character in ‘Prem’ all about?
After ‘Maine Pyaar Kiya’ it is Sooraj ji’s most young love story. Prem is a very young boy. When the film starts his character has passed out of college. It’s a phase everyone goes through. As the film progresses, along with the relationship developing there’s a growth in Prem’s character as well. And he ends up taking responsibilities finally.
How different is Prem of ‘Vivah’ from your own personality?
I’ve never had a situation in my life where I actually go to see a girl for marriage. But because I am an actor I have to understanding the sensibility of that character. All of Sooraj ji’s films cater to a certain sensibility and since he believes in them he manages to make good films. I never tried Prem to be like myself, instead I saw at Prem from the understanding of Sooraj ji.
How is Sooraj Barjatya as a director?
Sooraj ji is a wonderful person. I gained so much respect for him as a person even before we started the film. In spite of giving such huge hits, it’s amazing to see even today his first shot seems as if it is his first film. The simplicity, the humility, the dedication taught me a lot. For someone who has started working lately, it’s a great learning experience.
Which of Sooraj Barjatya’s Prem do you like?
I can’t take my own name….I would say Salman’s Prem of ‘Maine Pyaar Kiya’ was good. I was very young when I saw the film but I connected with the film very well.
Did ‘Vivah’ challenge you as far as the growth of you as an actor?
There are portions of the film which challenged me as an actor. For most part I stuck to what Sooraj ji’s requirement was. I think the most important part of the film is that it’s very subtle. There’s nothing loud in the film. So, as an actor you have to tone yourself down in many portions. And that was something very new for me as an actor.
Don’t you think Udit Narayan’s voice (In ‘Vivah’) doesn’t suit you?
(A bit irritated) Then you should have directed the music. You are telling me what you feel. I think an actor’s job is to go and work on the sets and choose who is singing for him. It’s not my area. And I think Sooraj ji has a far better understanding of music that what I do. I trust him completely.
What are your future plans?
I have been working for three years constantly. I have taken a break. I am just hearing scripts right now, seeing where I went wrong. I needed to spend time with myself, find out what people liked about me, see where I went wrong. I realize that the most important thing about a film is the script. It’s the backbone of a film. So, I am being a bit choosy about the scripts that I want to do. Probably early next year I may starting something but not now…..