‘Shahrukh gave me kisses when he was happy’
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What made you say yes to YEH HAI BAKRAPUR(YHB)?
The script & the director. It was a script high on content yet entertaining, which is what I also look for as an audience. Also, the way Janaki pitched Jaffar’s character to me was a big attraction. He is simple, believable yet heroic.
Is the film on the lines of PEEPLI LIVE?
Only in terms of the rural setting. YHB is a socio political satire but it also talks of friendship, love, religion & has a goat at its core, which is an absolutely original thought.
‘I would want to do more films now’
The truth is we have all become a bakra or made a bakra out of someone in our lives. The system & social beliefs end up making us look like bakras at some point in our lives. And not just in our country, universally. So, yes, the film talks about a lot of serious issues but never takes itself too seriously. You’ll laugh during the film but will realise while exiting the theatre door that we are all part of this circus.
Why do you think people should watch your film?
Because you will be engaged and entertained, which is what any kind of cinema should do. And because it has something for everyone to take back- kids, teenagers, young adults and adults. There is a facet of the film which will connect with everyone in a happy way. It will entertain, not preach. And of course you’ll get to see Shahrukh, the rockstar goat.
How was it to have a goat as your co-star?
Well, his name is Shahrukh & he’s not just a goat. He’s extremely charming and a very camera friendly performer. We really bonded on set. He gave me kisses when he was happy with me & even kicked me once when he got upset. How many co-stars do that?
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You made a spectacular debut with LOVE SEX AUR DOKHA. Are you happy with the way your career has progressed till now?
Yes I am. LSD was a dream debut but I got busy with theatre immediately after its release. I would want to do more films now, which is why I haven’t done any new plays in the past two years, during which I have completed four films, all to release this year. I once heard Big-B say that you should be at your best, irrespective of whether the film works or not. I think I haven’t let myself down even with a KLPD
‘I was playing professional cricket till the age of 16’
If not an actor, what would you be?
I was playing professional cricket till the age of 16 so a cricketer, if not an actor. But acting is my biggest passion so I never gave myself the ‘if not’ choice.
What are your future projects?
I have finished shooting for four films in the last 20 months, so this is a release year. YEH HAI BAKRAPUR on May 9th, FUGLY (In which I’m playing a crazy negative character) on June 13, there’s Onir’s CHAURANGA in August & X in October. Also, after an intentional sabbatical from stage for the last two years, I am doing a new play, ‘The Boy Who Stopped Smiling’. Every art needs riyaz, and going back to theatre helps me do that as an actor.