How was the experience of playing a magician confined in wheelchair in GUZAARISH?
It’s a very difficult, challenging role. But after the entire preparation process that we all went through…I used to go and sit for hours at Mr. (Sanjay Leela) Bhansali’s office and try to absorb the character, his world and his vision…slowly and steadily, by the time we all came on sets, our characters became the easiest role for us to play; by then, I had become Ethan Mascarenhas.
What’s the film all about?
If you ask me what the film is all about, at the cost of being a little abstract, I will say, the storyline of the film is like the beauty of nature….it’s all about the contrasting elements around us-night and day, life and death….but it’s beautiful. How do you explain it in words? Like nature, this film is beyond judgment-good or bad-for me.
“Aishwarya & me have proven to be 100% success.”
GUZAARISH is not about mercy killing. I mean, mercy killing is an important chapter of the film, but the film is about courage, strength, smiling through your troubles. Ethan smiling through his pains for 14 years is more important than he applying for death.
You are known for getting attached to all the characters you portray on-screen. During KOI MIL GAYA, you locked yourself in a hotel room to get into a child’s mind. Anything similar you did for GUZAARISH?
I was so attached to the character (Ethan) that after the shooting was over, I had to rip it off; otherwise, I would have wanted to stay like him for the rest of my life.
Do you have any similarity with Ethan in real life?
I am in love with life just like Ethan. In fact, after playing this character, who lives so passionately even after spending 14 years on wheelchair, I have fallen more in love with life. He lived life beautifully, made all his dreams come true…won awards, medals, wrote books…it’s the story of one man who did not give up and fought through his life.
After KITES, you have again shown your singer-side in Guzaarish…
(Laughs) Yes. I have sung in this film. I was not nervous because I am not a singer and so was allowed to make mistakes. As it is, Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a genius. I don’t think anyone in the world, except him, could have justified the music of this film. The song is not yet out. But hope people will love the song.
This is your third film with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan after DHOOM 2 and JODHAA AKBAR. What do you have to say?
…like three years is not enough. She is one of my favourite co-actors. Ash and me have proven to be 100% success (smiles).