What is your role in 'Department'?
I play a tough cop in Department, which is a hard core action thriller which deals with the politics within the police force. My role in Department is quite different from the roles of the cop that I have essayed earlier in various films. An actor has got to play different roles. Even if he has to play a character which he has played earlier, what makes the character different from the ones that the actor has played earlier is the persona or for that matter the mannerisms that the character has got to portray.
How do you look at competition in the form of young heroes these days?
It is my 32nd year in Bollywood ever since the time I had made my debut in Rocky as the leading man with my father as the director. Though I have always worked from my heart, I feel that it is high time that I did a reversal. I have seen several ups and downs, mostly downs in my career, and all that I'd say is that I really do not need to compete with the youngsters of today. They are doing good work and let them romance with all the young heroines. I cannot go on doing song and dance numbers and have got to move on.
In what way has your fatherhood changed you drastically?
I am quite exuberant now. I am no longer restless like I used to be before I became the father of my two lovely kids. Even as I am giving this interview to you, I am only waiting to finish this and rush home to hold them in my arms. To tell you the truth, before the birth of my twins, I could never experience fatherhood and I missed being the father of Trishala when she was born. My wife Richa was very sick when Trishala was born and both Richa and Trishala were in USA and I had to shuttle between Indian and USA and strike a balance between working in my films here in India and being with them. It was quite a stressful period for me then.
Why not politics?
Politics is not meant for good human beings. If you have to succeed in politics, you have to fulfill all the promises that you make to your voters and it is an entirely different world altogether and I realized that I was just not cut out for that. I think I made a mistake by joining politics though I respect people like Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh, who I am sure will make a difference as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Politics not for actors...
Yes. Actors are bhole bhaale and seedhe saadhe and any one can take undue advantage of them. Shatrughan Sinha has not reached where he should have reached now after being in politics. Shatrusaab should have been the chief Minister but he has not been made one. Dharamji also isn't happy being part of politics. Hemaji also has not been able to what she had set out to do as a politician. Priya Dutt has succeeded because she is not an actor.
I am in the process of planning my next production and hope to go on the floors in the next six months. I am keeping my fingers crossed for my films Zilla Ghaziabad and Son Of Sardar. Comedy is a different genre to play and I am also quite excitedly looking forward to the launch of the next in the series of Munnabhai, by the end of this year, though Vidhu Vinod Chopra has given up the idea of making Munnabhai In Amrika.