Houseful 2 begins where Houseful ended?
Houseful 2 is a sequel to Houseful but does not take off where Houseful ends, because the starcast as well as the storyline are completely different. If I played the role of a loser in Houseful, I play the role of Jolly in Houseful 2. There is confusion in the film because three to four characters are named Jolly. The character that I am playing is referred to as a Nayansukh, someone who does not touch a girl at all but is happy just looking at her with his eyes.
Working with Sajid for the second time, what are his strengths?
I'd say without any hesitation at all that Sajid Khan's biggest strength as a director is that he is immature, because he can show fun and frolic in almost every film of his. On the sets, forget about me and Ritesh Deshmukh, Sajid plays the biggest prank on every one.
Which is tougher comedy or action?
I'd not at all hesitated to say that comedy is tough because I enjoy action completely and am very comfortable in action scenes. If I am doing a Rowdy Rathore, I am also balancing it with Houseful 2 which is Sajid Khan's next comedy. I have been pitted in the film with almost a dozen actors like Asin, Ritesh Deshmukh, Shreyas Talpade, Shehzanne, Jacqueline, Zarine Khan, Rishi Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor etc.
In Houseful 2, which actress is the best among all the four of them - Asin, Shazahn, Jacqueline and Zarine Khan?
Each and every actress comes with her own different potential. It is quite unfair on your part to ask a discriminatory question like this and equally bad on my part to say that out of the four, X or for that matter Y has the potential.
Action after 6 years in Rowdy Rathore...
I decided to take up an action packed film like Rowdy Rathore produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and directed by Prabhu Devaa after a gap of almost six years only because I feel that as an actor-producer, you are bound to make your audiences happy even while setting out to make films as per your own conviction. If you look at even fashion today, no one wears big collars but after some time it will be in vogue. Like fashion, themes too keep on changing in films.
Do you have any film which will show you in an entirely different light from what you are in either Houseful 2 or Rowdy Rathore?
Besides Rowdy Rathore and Houseful, I am quite proud of my role in Neeraj Pandey's Special Chabbis which is based on the real life story of how a conman robs diamond merchants by posing as a sleuth from the Income Tax department. There is Shirish Kunder's Joker for which we have shot some scenes in 3D, besides Once Upon A Time In Mumbai sequel for Ekta Kapoor and Rohit Shetty's assistant Ashish R Mohan's film Khiladi 786 Made In Punjab being produced jointly by my own banner Hari Om Pictures and Himesh Reshammiya's H. R Muzik and presented by Eros International.
How do you react when a film of yours clicks at the box office in a big way or bombs?
Success and failure both are a fact of life, whether you happen to be an actor, a journalist or a cricketer like Sachin Tendulkar, who surprised everyone with his hundredth century after having been at the end of brickbats for his performance just some time back. You have to go through highs and lows. There will be no problem in your life if you set out to understand this philosophy. Hits and flops keep on coming in your way. It isn't a big deal. I should know because I too had delivered 14 flops in a row one time.
How would you evaluate your growth over the years?
It is 22 years since I had made my debut with Pramod Chakraborty's Deedar opposite Karisma Kapoor. I have grown by leaps and bounds not only age but also experience as well as bank accounts. My family also has grown and same goes for the number of films I have done; but fact is, i am still the same old Rajiv Bhatia.
Are you aiming at being the 100 Plus star?
The benchmark will keep on increasing with every passing year. I would not at all be surprised if a day comes when even a collection of say 400 crores will look to be too meager. I do not do a film to prove a point. I do it if I like the subject and the filmmaker. It is just a matter of say four to five years when the collection of 400 crores would be a reality.