After off-beat films, serious films like Shor In The City and The Dirty Picture last year, you are back to your favourite genre- comedy with Chaar Din Ki Chandni (CDKC)…
Yeah… it feels nice be a part of a film like CDKC. Comedy is a genre that people associate with me. Even though it’s an out and out comedy film, my role is that of a romantic and comic hero. In most of my earlier comedy films, I have been playing purely a comic character but here I am also the main hero of the film. So the excitement is much more.
The film has you playing a sardar for the first time, how was that experience? Pappi Sardar surely seems to have caught on big time.
Initially, I was not sure if I would be able to pull of the character as Pappi Sardar is a loud, over the top, brash character something completely opposite to my personality. I was wondering if I would be able to get the body language of a sardar correctly. But then I did a short workshop with this theatre actor called Suraj Vyas and that kind of allowed me to open up and let loose. When I shot the first scene, I felt totally in character. I never knew this side of me even existed but I must say that this is one of the most memorable characters of my career.
Samir Karnik’s last film Yamla Pagla Deewana was a huge hit, hoping for an encore with CDKC?
I hope so man. The USP of this film is that Samir Karnik, who directed the thoroughly enjoyable Yamla Pagla Deewana, is now back with another entertaining family comedy. I always wanted to do a solo hero film with an established director and when Samir offered me this film I was really excited. The promos have caught on and we are all keeping our fingers crossed to see how the audience reacts to the film.
You have worked with a lot of top actresses in your career and are now paired opposite Kulraj who is a relative newcomer. How was the experience?
Working with Kulraj has been a refreshing change for me. She is comparatively new and brings in a lot of freshness to the film. She also suits the character of Chandni (a talkative girl from Punjab) perfectly as she is a Sardarni in real life as well.
The film has a host of supporting characters right from Anupam Kher and Om Puri to Mukul Dev and Chandrachur Singh, how was the atmosphere on the sets with so many actors?
The supporting cast is another trump card of this film. You have veterans like Anupam Kher and Om Puri while you also have talented actors like Sushant Singh, Mukul Dev and Chandrachur Singh. So it’s an interesting mix of youth and experience. Usually when you have so many actors there is a chance for friction because of ego hassles but here we all were like one big family. Each of the actors’ role is extremely well etched out so there was no insecurity at all. We were all shooting at Khimsar Fort near Jodhpur for a 50 day schedule so there was a lot of bonding. We would eat together, work out together, play board games after pack up. It was a blast working with the whole cast and crew.
Music has caught on especially the title track and ‘Kangna‘, you seem to be having a blast doing those Jumping Jack moves…
Yeahâ€¦I have never got a chance to do those Jumping Jack moves in my decade long career. It was Samir’s idea to do a retro song for the title track. In that, he kept a portion where Kulraj and I dance in the typical 80’s Himmatwala– Tohfa style which was Dad’s cult style. It felt good to let my hair down and dance, I never worried about any comparison with Dad who is a legend. I just enjoyed myself
You’ve been travelling a lot of places promoting the film and even visited the Golden Temple. How was that experience?
It was an amazing experience, my first time at the Golden temple. There was no chaos or pushing around, we got a very nice treatment. Samir has dedicated the film’s screenplay to Babaji because he feels that it’s the blessings of Babaji that helped him get the idea of this film.
The film was originally to release during the festival of Lohri in the month of January, why the delay then?
We started shooting in August last year and completed the film by December. Samir was very keen to release the film during Lohri on 13th of Jan but I told him that he was cutting it too close. There was post-production left plus we had to spend a good amount of time marketing and promoting the film. Hence we thought it best to shift the release ahead and as destiny would have it we are now arriving on another big festival- Holi (March 8).
You guys also face stiff competition from a biggie like Kahaani which has Vidya Balan in the lead. Isn’t that taking a big risk?
We all hope for a solo release at the bottom of our heart but sometimes it’s just not possible. Having said that, both the films have a totally different feel. Kahaani has a more serious tone to it and is probably a little darker. CDKC on the other hand is a colourful, fun, family entertainer. So there is a scope to see both the films considering it’s a holiday weekend.
Most of your hits have been multi-starrer films. CDKC is in a way a solo hero film for you. Does that make you all the more anxious?
Obviously it does get me anxious at times but then I tell myself that there is only so much that an actor can do. Beyond that the fate of the film lies in the hands of the audience. I am ready for whatever outcome or verdict the people give after watching the film. We did our best and we will respect the audiences’ verdict.
You have some interesting films lined up this year. Could you briefly tell us about them?
Yaa…after CDKC, I have Kyaa Super Kool Hai Hum… it’s an extension of where we left off with Kyaa Kool Hai Hum but with a new and naughtier story. The film is 50% complete and we have a marathon schedule in May. The film is set for a release on Raksha Bandhan. Besides that I start shooting for Shootout at Wadala from March 10. It’s again a film with a huge ensemble cast. Besides, there is also Bhaiyaji Superhit with Sunny Deol, Arshad Warsi etc. I don’t know if the film will release this year but it’s a film I am excited about. It’s a really funny script.