This actor has proved his acting talent with every movie and he is the one who even saves the lately released LAAL RANG from failing miserably at the Box Office. Well, how did he manage to get into the role and more is what the actor revealed to us in the interview.
Here are the excerpts:
What was the reason behind taking up LAAL RANG?
I had met Afzal originally for another film, but that didn't work out. I stuck with him because he was a man with talent and very new thought. When he got me this script, I took it very seriously and read it. It was about a very heinous crime but he thought of bringing something that happens in our society at the forefront. I really liked the fact that it was a true event which was based in a place, unlike other Bollywood films which are based in vacuum. Even though the story was about blood mafia, but also human - about friendship, love, unrequited love, betrayal and other aspirational small town qualities. The whole scene is such that you can identify with - whether living in a small community in Mumbai or small town. There are so many interactions between the characters which is so appealing, funny and identifiable that it was a no-brainer. Plus we were going to shoot in Haryana, which is my hometown. For the first time in my life, I got to play a very flamboyant character who is a Jatt. A lot of people think I've played a Haryanvi in HIGHWAY, but he was an NCR guy whose language was also different. Afzal made me hear some music. The way he showed Karnal, it looks like Haryana is in Spain. It is such a great character, film and music and that makes it my most massy film till now!
What research did you do for this movie?
It was all there. He explained me the character, who has a blood bank, from where if you take blood, you also have to replace it. What Shankar does is that he takes blood, goes to a permanent donor, bleed that guy, take the unit out, sell it for 5000 and then take the other guy's blood for 500 rupees and mix it with Glucose. This is how they made money. It's the most heinous crime in the world. So it deals with a social topic, but is packaged in a very entertaining way. You can't preach, but just inform people. It's entertaining and we are trying to say something which makes it a lot more meaningful.
How do you relate to your character on a personal level?
All my characters are a part of me, but I am none of them. I had to find that Haryanvi mast maula dabangg kind of character within me. He's funny, naive, smart, shrewd yet loving. A very complicated character encapsulated very well in the writing itself.
'Speaking my own dialect Haryanvi felt a bit strange on camera'
So did you train yourself for this?
Yeah man. Because I had spoken so many dialects in this career, that to speak my own felt a bit strange on camera and I kept on asking if I'm saying it right. There you were enacting, but here it was recalling. So it was tough, but hey! I am from there and there's no denying that. There are so many Haryanvi characters that are made and one of the most endearing in recent times was Datto from TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS. That humour and language was very catchy. There are also so many songs from Haryanvi. 'Kar Gayi Chull' is also a Haryanvi song. Aamir Khan's DANGAL and Salman Khan's SULTAN is based in Haryana. I just felt why not contribute along with all this? I can tell you with confidence that LAAL RANG will be the most authentic Haryanvi.
You are also playing somewhat a villain in this...
Well yes. He's not a straight guy, but see the film to discover that. He's not the villain of the film, but you see the film and decide.
Tell us something about your and Meenakshi's chemistry on screen...
You'll see it in the song 'Baawri Poonch' and there's a lot more in the movie. She's a very out-of-his-league rich man's daughter and is obviously his childhood love. His biggest tragedy is that he's not touched her in that way. There's a lot of chemistry. Both the love angles are very good. Plus it's the story about 2 friends and the story revolves around them.
What is your equation with your co-stars?
That they will tell you. I try and strike relationships that I have within and outside the film, keeping in mind if the other actor is willing. Sometimes you mix with people, sometimes you don't, but on screen, the relation should look real.
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