Congratulations on being a father again…
You seem to be on a high with both your films and on the personal front…
Absolutely. It feels good. I am happy about my films which have already released and the ones that are due, especially Aakrosh and Golmaal. Yes, becoming a father the second time is a great feeling too.
This is the first time you are doing a film with Priyadarshan?
Yes, and I must say it’s one of his best works. It’s an action-thriller. I think, Priyadarshan is more remembered for his comedies though I personally feel he has had some good intense films like Virasat and Gardish. So seeing him tackle a serious issue like honour killings was good and as I said, the film has turned out very well and certainly one of his best works. The experience of working with him was fantastic.
Tell us something about the character you play?
I play a CBI officer, Pratap Singh, who is given the task to solve a case of three missing Delhi University students in a village in Bihar. But then it’s not that simple and straight as it seems and as we uncover the case in the face of angry locals and a corrupt local police officer, we realize there is more than meets the eye. The film deals with honour killings.
What is your take on honour killings?
It’s the same as you or any other educated person has. Who gives anyone a right to kill someone? It just can’t be encouraged. It just cannot and should not be encouraged. It can’t be a solution or punishment for two people in love.
How possessive are you about your sisters or the women in your family?
I am protective, yes like any other brother would but possessive. No! I believe everyone is mature enough to make decisions and one can’t force people to do something against their wishes. There can be no valid reason to kill someone.
Is your role in Aakrosh the best in your career till date?
I would not say that my role in Aakrosh is the best role in my career, because, as an actor, I still crave to do better roles. I would like to say that people who have seen the film in trials have come up to me and said that my performance in the film has been the best in recent times.
Your next is Golmaal and going by the zany promos, it looks to be a fun ride.
Absolutely. It’s bigger, better and funnier and a perfect festival bonanza for the audience.
Doesn’t it get difficult to come up with a funny script each time especially when with every sequel, the expectations rise multi-fold?
Yes, making comedies is a difficult job, especially for the writers and as you said, meeting expectations is another thing. But then you try to make it all come together, put together a good fun script and make it entertaining and then hope it works.
Do you see the Golmaal brand getting bigger with every passing year?
(Smiles) Well, I hope so and I would love it to grow with every film.
You are one of the very few actors who’s done films in all the genres and successfully so. What do you attribute this to?
People’s love and appreciation for sure and I guess, my acting skills, scripts and good directors. It definitely feels good to entertain audiences with different kind of films. As an actor, I strive to do justice to whatever film I choose to act in and when it is received and appreciated well, the feeling is good, of contentment and satisfaction. I feel fortunate to be loved by people in all kinds of films. My directors too have shown that trust in me so that’s one important reason.
I am now busy wrapping up my work in films like Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal 3 and my own animation film Toonpur Ka Super Hero. It has taken more time to complete the film because animation films take almost three years to make. I am committed to do a film each for Prakash Jha and Priyadarshan. While Prakash Jha is still working on the script of Aarakshan in which I have been teamed with Amitabh Bachchan and Manoj Bajpayee. In Priyadarshan’s next Tezz, I have been teamed with Suniel Shetty, Tushar Kapoor and Sameera Reddy. Let me reiterate on record that neither is it a remake of Speed, nor has it been titled Bullet Train
Do you have any plan to direct in the near future?
I have not decided as yet but I am actually toying with the idea of directing a film next year, once I am through with all my commitments