One would have expected you to get further aggressive after a good success like Fukrey and sign multiple films. Why did you still decide to take it slow?
With God's grace, I have been reading a lot of scripts. In fact if I had to pick on number of films, I could be doing three films a year. Still, to choose the best becomes a little tedious. I do not want to take decisions in haste that yehbhi sign karliya, wohbhi! I want to pick only a select few good movies and then I know that more quality work will follow.
Still, after Fukrey, did you start getting those familiar 2-3-4 hero buddy films?
Yes, that's true. It happens a lot and this is all the more reason why I have to be cautious. I may get something which is entertaining but then I can't keep doing a Fukrey over and over again. I think hota aisa hai that ek wave si ban jaatihai. If one Bheja Fry is a hit then 8-10 more go on floors. If Dabangg works then 9-10 more clones come in. I don't want to get into this cloning business.
O Teri has you playing a media personality. So is there any particular reference point you had for the part?
Yes, I had a few reference points from other journos. We went to Noida Film City and spoke to media personalities there. I had to understand their body language, what preoccupies them, what keeps them busy, how does their typical day look like, the works. All these things helped me in character build up. (Smiles) On a personal note though, I loved having 'Rajma-chawal' on the streets of Delhi. For someone like me who has lived in the city for years, it was great nostalgia and fun.
I like the subtle messaging here in varied topics that we have touched upon. Moreover, it was fun to play dumb. What happens for characters like these is that people treat you as dumb and then later you surprise them by turning into a hero. The film has intelligent humor and great dialogues. Moreover, when a film is backed by bhai, you know that final product tohachcha hi hoga.
With Vijay Raaz joining in, who has immense comic timing, one can expect some riotous moments, right?
Though the two of us don't have many scenes, I know that his work is outstanding. He has added a lot of value to the script and taken it by 8-10 notches up. His characterization is so interesting that even when he hints of abusing, he actually never abuses. However his expressions say it all.
How about the expressions of your leading lady Sarah-Jane Dias? The pairing is unique in many ways, isn't it, considering you have been traditionally chilled out and she is someone very sophisticated?
Yes, it is a very interesting pairing. Honestly, even I was a little apprehensive in the beginning since even in Fukrey I didn't have much of a romantic role to play with a girl. The good part is that Sarah was very comfortable from Day One. Once we met, the tuning clicked. We had a nice breezy contemporary romantic number that we shot in Dubai.
Meanwhile with your partner-in-crime BilalAmrohi, there seems to be some good camaraderie in the offering. Do we see an Andaaz Apna Apna reprise here?
I can just feel proud that you are comparing our work with such a great film. Yes, Bilal and I too are in a bromantic relationship with goofy edge to it. I guess we are half way there at least as far as Andaaz Apna Apna is concerned. We didn't start with such expectations but after a few scenes even we felt that 'arreyyaar, our film is looking like Andaaz Apna Apna. Hope the audience picks that up too.