What made you go for 'David' when you could have designed another film around yourself as a solo lead?
Clichéd as it may sound but then it is the script and the set up that matters most to me and not an individual performance or presentation in a film. 'David' came to me at the time when I was looking for something really substantial to step into a true commercial Hindi film. The script totally blew me away; I had to do the film.
Well, you ended up gaining experience of not just a Bollywood but also South film set up. After all, the Tamil version of 'David' was being shot simultaneously.?
Yes. In fact Bejoy (Nambiar) has been saying that the Hindi and Tamil versions films are different and made for two separate markets. What I really enjoyed about being in close touch with the Tamil crew was the fact that I worked with a lot of experienced people from the industry. I was interacting a lot with Jiiva since we are playing the same part in the respective versions. Hence, we were shooting simultaneously. Due to this, getting to know him personally was great. We have become great friends. He is one of those superstars who is so down to earth and I learnt so much from him.
Guess the experience of working in some real locations in Mumbai would have been a learning experience as well.?
Yes, we shot in chawls, housing complexes, small houses, a real hospital and where not! I ran though the streets of Mumbai while being chased and that was exciting for sure. I think that's what movie making is about; it was a completely different world.
A world that was quite different from the kind you experienced during the shooting of 'Breakaway'?
Absolutely (smiles). See, when you come from Hollywood then there are set permissions and also you have to work with unions and all. Moreover, everything is planned to the final second there. What I loved most about Bollywood is that there was much more spontaneity and on the spot decision making.
Was gaining an altogether different look for your part of a musician an easy decision to make?
It was a lot of fun actually. After working in the film, I can say that I am now fearless as an actor. In fact during it's making, I wasn't indulging myself into gaining touch ups after every shot; that's not a space that Bejoy works in. This means there were no distractions whatsoever. We had to spend a lot of time to get the look right and once that was confirmed, we stuck to that. For me to be transformed like this in my second film itself was a blessing in itself.
Didn't it play in your mind though that you were taking a route different from what your contemporaries are possibly taking?
But then if everybody looks the same then where is the fun? The question though is that was I nervous? Well yes, I was. At the same time I was so confident with the team that I was surrounded by and especially Bejoy, due to which I was able to let go free. Here I have to acknowledge that our team of stylists did really well. I knew that my carefree grungy look was what my character needed. Now if he had some cool gelled hair then it wouldn't have gone well.