In your first Hindi film you were a south Indian guy and in you very second film you are playing a Haryanvi cop in Aurangzeb. How this transformation happened?
I play a cop who lived in Gurgaon. I am playing a Haryanvi cop but the language spoken in the film is deliberately not Haryanvi or north Indian Hindi because the director of the film Atul deliberately doesn't want to localise the language spoken by the character. I don't have the liberty of saying that I am a south Indian guy and. I remember when I met Adi for the first time he said me playing a cop is not new for you. But the challenge is in the film is that you have to make the audience believe that this person could be a north Indian. Obviously my biggest effort was to get the Hindi diction right. For that I spend at least 4 month before the shooting started with wonderful tutor called Vikas Kumar. He was with me during the entire course of shooting. He spends time in the dubbing studio. Yesterday when everyone saw the film they said they can't imagine that you are from south.
What kind of preparation you did for the film?
Getting Hindi right was the biggest part. When I said yes to Aurangzeb I was doing Aiyaa. Atul wanted me to look real. The whole film setup is real. I don't want to look like a very cinematographically police office so I lost weight and became lean. During Aiyaa I was fit but the cop in Auragzeb is not the guys who go to gym for 3 hours every day. Basically I had to look different what I was in Aiyaa. Then we had repeated reading sessions with our co actors.
Is the character is grey or black or white?
That is the speciality of the characters in the film. Everybody is grey. No one is black or white. Title Aurangzeb is significant to all the character in the film specially Arjun and my character. Aurangzeb is the emperor who turned against the whole family. Arjun and my character at one point time have to do things which were not in the favour of our family. So the title Aurangzeb was very significant everyone. There is an Aurangzeb in everybody.
In a recent press meet Rishi Kapoor said he was uncomfortable with you for two day? Why?
We have very good scene together in the film so we spend lot of time together. In the 2nd day of shoot he said me that "|I can't call you Prithviraj yaar because that is my grandfather's name". After couple of day he started calling me grand paa.
The film is about to release and everyone in Yashraj has must have seen the film so what is the biggest compliment you received?
The film is actually is all about performances. From the trailer it seems it is an action drama film but actually it is an emotional family crime drama. Not just I all in the film come up with very good performances. Everybody is happy with the film what I have done in the film. Everyone liked my performances and I hope even general audience like my performance.
What was Aditya Chopra's reaction as he is a person of less words?
The biggest compliment I got after the shoot when I got down from a flight I got a message form Adi saying please call back and when I called back he said "I really wanted to tell you that I sat for the editing and yesterday I saw the entire film and I want to tell you that you were very good in that." It was a huge compliment because he was the one who handed me the responsibility for the film.
Did you manage to meet the Legendary Director Late Yashji last year?
Yes I did. I was coming with my director in the Yashraj and Yashji and Pam Aunty was also coming and I said hi sir and he said yaa I know and he turned to Pam Aunty and said "now he is a part of Yashraj family". And pam aunty said immediately "arre he is so handsome". I met him couple of time during that time. I found myself so lucky. Imagine person from south India who got no connection with Bollywood just before the great man died i got an opportunity to meet him and talked to him.
Which of Yashji movies you liked it a lot?
Lamhe because that was the film which was far ahead of its time. Secondly it is Yashji's most matured love story. That is the film I would love to do it.
Any old film of Yashji you admire?
It's being more than decade you are in the acting business so it was always in the cards?
No I was not that intrinsic to get into cinema. I was very bookish geek kind of a guy. I actually went to Australia to do my information technology. It was one of the summer vacations when I was offered my first film. Accidently I did my second film actually it thought I will do my first film and I will leave. In fact in my family I was the least expected in the cinema.
Bollywood was on mind while you were doing movies south down?
I never designed. When I was doing Malayalam film I got offer to do Tamil same with Telugu and when I was doing a Malayalam film I got a call from Anurag Kashyap to do a Hindi film. It happened like that it was never a plan. Now I have done two films. It is a biggest stage to an actor in India.
So what your strategy in Bollywood?
I would like to do good cinema. For me the next film will be the next best script if it will be in Hindi then great.
How you will define bad film?
It is a very individualistic perception. What I thing is bad may be fantastic film for you. When I listen to a script I try to listen as an audience. I try not to listens script as a person who is already in it and then if I like it I do it.
Do you consult your brother or mother for the film script?
No. It is all my call. We all are busy actors. At times I like the film and my brother does not and sometimes vice versa. I have gone wrong and I went right also. May be there is no fool-proof method for that.
How different in the working strategy in Bollywood and south film industry?
Nothing really. It is just the language.
Is direction on cards?
I would have directed the film long back actually in Malayalam but unfortunately I could not due to my acting commitment. Right now if I want to direct a film it will take sizable amount of my time from my acting career which will not be fair because there is lot of filmmaker waited for me for their films. But this is something I want to do someday.
It will be for south or Bollywood?
Don't know. I have idea and if I have to write it then it has to be Malayalam because I can't right in Hindi.
If it is Bollywood which actor you would like to cast?
Big B is the first in the wish list.
Bollywood actor you would like to work with?
Everyone. I was a big Rani Mukherjee fan. I like Kajol as well. I really liked to work with her. Someday I really hope I will work with her.
What kind of cinema you will prefer in Bollywood commercial or arty films?
For me there are 2 types of cinema good cinema and bad cinema. I have brought up in that way. I will try not to do bad cinema. I don't go for any further classification of the cinema like commercial, art etc.