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    "I Believe in Goodness to Humanity Not Idol Worship" - Paresh Rawal

    Monday, September 17, 2012
    Paresh Rawal is excited about his upcoming film Oh My God and believes that it will bring about a change in the thinking of many people. He says that the film has filled a void which centered around many unanswered questions. Indiaglitz speaks to the actor about him turning producer and this film.

    The film is based on a Gujarati play what made you turn it into a film?

    I had not seen the Gujarati play earlier but my partner said we can make it into a film. When I saw the play we decided to make it into a film. I was looking for a producer and Akshay agreed to make a film but he wanted to see the play too. He saw it and liked it from the word Go.

    Heard you had approached Salman and Shah Rukh for the role of God earlier?

    No, right from the word Go if anyone could play Krishna it was Akshay I always insisted that he would do the role but he was a little hesitant and he had suggested different names ultimately I convinced him.

    This is the first time you have taken up production what made you join Akshay as a producer?

    This is the first time I have come into production. I trusted him and he's very calm and he was already into production and that was important I didn't want any problems while working with the producer. I had implicit trust in him and I had watched him working with other people earlier so I decided to co- produce the film with him.

    Do you think the subject will attract audiences to theatres?

    I have no doubts. I am sure even youngsters will watch the film. When I took up the Gujarati play I came to know that they had done over 500 shows and Hindi over 150.The youth of today does not go to watch plays they are very fast so they don't like plays as they find it slow and boring. But we have made a survey and found that around 70 to 80 percent of the youth have seen the play. An 80 year old man and a 18 year old boy saw the play and reacted in a similar manner.

    What were the challenges of turning a play into a screenplay?

    In theatre you get instant reaction but the play had to translate into a picture for the screen. Whoever has seen the play is familiar with the story so we had to bring something new or spring surprises on our audiences when they are watching the film. There are a lot of surprises.The scenes have been captured differently, the interpretation is different, and dialogues are different. I can't describe any scene to you or it will lose its novelty.

    What made you choose Akshay for Krishna's role?

    Akshay has certain kind of piousness. I know him so well. He has certain family values and goodness and devotion to life. He is very stable and mischievious . I knew he would be good in this role.

    You are an aethist in the film?

    That was the role I wanted to play. I wanted to be a common man. Even in real life I don't believe in idol worship. Nor do I visit temples. I have always believed in the goodness of mankind. Humanity and goodness are the most important virtues in life. Nothing can help you more than this.

    Why this title?

    It's the most common expression used by all of us. We have never seen God nor questioned his identity. We never think about it.

    You have acted in the play was it easier since you already knew your lines well. How challenging was this film?

    It was easy yet difficult. I just knew my lines well. But the scenes in the film were different. Every actor is different his delivery his temperature is different. The reactions are different so it is never easy. It was challenging in the sense in a better and exciting way.

    Have you retained the cast from the play?

    No we have not. We wanted to give it a new perspective and make it different.

    The music of the film has been composed by Himesh Reshammiya. Tell us something about it?

    After a long time we have got good music meaningful songs. Especially the song Mere Nishaan, it's beautiful. There are no lip sync songs in the film.

    Why Lord Krishna and not any other God. Since it's about Lord Krishna who was known for his romantic liaison will the film have a love angle also?

    Lord Krishna has gone through every stage in life. But no we have not kept any romantic angle. We wanted to project him as a pious person. He is Omnipresent and the ultimate. We didn't want to distract the audience with anything else other than that. I want all children to see the film. Every school and college should show the film to the children and youth so that they will have a right approach to life.

    What was the moment when you started praying in life?

    As I said earlier I don't believe in idol worship. But at the same time I do not stop others from going to temples. My motto in life is not to give life to a stone nor place a stone in your life. Goodness to humanity is the best prayer.

    Have you taken reactions from friends or people around you before releasing the film?

    We didn't need to. When we were shooting for the film junior artistes and the crew would watch the shoot and clap on the dialogues. That was our litmus test. The play has been done everywhere in all parts of India. No one questioned and enjoyed it. They laughed heartily and that was more than enough a reaction.

    Heard you are planning a sequel now?

    Yes we are working on a sequel now but it nothing has been decided as yet.

    God has been portrayed by many actors in films. How different Akshay will he be in this film?

    God has been represented in many serials and films but God is represented very differently in our film. Sanjeev Kumar had done a role in Yehi Hai Zindagi so has Amitabh Bachchan in God Tussi Great Ho or the other films. Our film is entirely different so is the spice and the thought.

    Who has written the original script?

    Bhavesh Mandaliya has written the script of the play.

    What really sparked off this film?

    Initially we wanted to make a film with God Men and there were many questions in my mind. Woody Allen had once said "It's not God I am against it's the fan club I can't stand." Robert De Niro had also said "If God really exists he has a lot of explaining to do." But then we thought of turning this play into a film.

    Any emotional moment in the film you can talk of?

    One particular scene where God hugs me, It's a very emotional scene. I would always wonder If God really exists what if I hug him, what will be his reaction. There were so many questions. He bombards God with plenty questions and he gets such terrific answers that you start thinking about them. I am sure it will set people's minds thinking.

    Would you ask God these questions in real life too?

    Yes, there is so much unrest in our lives and in the world in general. So many people are dying I don't think so many people died in world wars. So many innocent lives are being lost.

    Any Oh My God Instances in life?

    Oh there are many instances of OMG in my life. Whenever things don't work the way I expect it's an OMG moment. When people tell lies or when they are not sincere.

    What are Akshay's negative and positive points?

    He has all the positive points his only negative point is he calls me at 6.00 in the morning for press conference.

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