Who suggested you to turn the play into a movie?
Paresh Rawal was very insistent that I watch this Gujarati play Krishna Vs. Kanhaiya before making it into a film. When I saw the play I was stunned. There was no preaching but just pure entertainment and laughter. Yet it has a subtle layer that hits you.
Do you fear God in real life?
I used to think I am God fearing and would say yes when ever any one questioned me about it. But after watching the play I realized that I am not God Fearing but God Loving. I am not scared of God but I Love him. He wants to become your friend. I have now become a great fan of the writer who has put a lot of thought into it.
You play God in the film. What were your references for the role?
When I said I would do this film one thing that Paresh Rawal told me was not to take any sort of references. The only advice he gave me was 'be yourself'. He told me not to try to use frills on the role he said just be yourself and mean what you say. Let it come from your heart and be good, the camera is so sharp and so is the audience they will catch you in a fraction in a second. After that I took care that would be as natural as possible. Neither have we tried any gimmicks in the film. We have just kept a simple narration. The taking of the film is different too. All we have tried to do is bring in a new concept within an old story.
But then you have taken simplicity too far. God is shown as a common man?
Yes that was our idea. When God comes down on this earth he will not give out his identity nor will he reveal himself. He has to be dressed in trousers or jeans and a shirt. He will be a common man.
What is the film all about?
It is the story of a common man who makes a case against God himself.
You have also added a dance number with Sonakshi Sinha in the film. Was it a marketing gimmick?
It can be a marketing gimmick. No we wanted to shoot Gokulashtami festival in the film. So whenever there is a festival there has to be a dance number and somebody had to perform. We decided to shoot it with Sonakshi.
You also have a custom made bike in the film?
Yes we wanted to portray God as a common man so when he comes down on this earth he uses his vehicle so decided to give him a bike. It was a heavy chopper bike custom made which took four to five months. It's not an easy bike it was very heavy weighing 350 to 400 kgs. It was not easy riding it too.
You have been shown handling a key chain in the film?
That was the only gimmick we tried to bring. It was done with a purpose. God has the habit of using his sudarshan chakra and we wanted to keep that identity. So here we have shown God using his bike keys like the sudarshan chakra.
Do you worship any God in particular and what message do you like to give your fans for the forthcoming Ganesh Chaturthi festival?
I believe in Ganpati. I feel that everyone should buy eco friendly Ganpati made with eco friendly colours. It's good for our environment and it is safe on our beaches.
What message does the film give out to the audiences?
I believe that every person should watch the film right from youngsters to older people. The film will answer a lot of questions that often troubles us. In the film Paresh's characters asks God many unanswered questions. Where are you, what are you, why are you like this. Why does earth quake take place, why do tornado's hit us. Why is he not helping us out? Etc., I would like to salute the writer answering a lot of our questions. You don't have to believe everything but if your heart agrees then do start believing in it. This is a small budget film and for God's sake go watch it.
If God comes in front of you what will you ask him?
Why did he make the world like this
Do you personally have any complaints against God?
None, he has given me such a good family, career, natural things, beautiful places. I have no complaint against him. But I have complaints against Humanity. They are not taking care of themselves neither are they taking care of this planet. God has given us everything but we humans have destroyed everything.
You have worked with Paresh Rawal in so many films is there any moment or scene that touched your heart in the film?
Yes there's this one particular scene with Paresh Rawal. Especially one particular shot where I have to hug him. I tell him "Bhagwan bhi ek bhakt ke bina adhura hai" (God is aloof without a single devotee). It touched me.
This is your fourth film which has been an adaptation of a play?
Yes I liked Aankhen, then I did Waqt which is close to my heart, Action Replay something went wrong and now Oh My God. If any play appeals to me I will turn it into a film. I like Marathi plays too and have watched many of them. They have often come up with unusual subjects. I am producing a Marathi film next titled Bahatar Mile (72 Miles). I want to make meaningful cinema.
How do you look back on your journey in films?
I started from nothing when I came here but God has been kind enough and fulfilled all my dreams. I still have to achieve a lot as an actor and will keep working hard as long as I can.
How is Paresh as a Human being and co-actor?
Paresh and I have worked together in more than 20 many films. He's very comical and is never serious. Even when he is upset or sad or will be facing problems but he always smile through it. He always has something funny to say to others. He finds joy in little things in life, be it a cup of tea or biscuit.
What are his negative qualities?
His only negative trait is that he keeps fiddling with his cell phone. He's either messaging somebody or calling somebody.
What are your Oh My God moment?
Oh there are plenty. I often say Oh My God when the roads are bad and when they neglect to get it repaired.