MIRCH sounds a very interesting and different title. What is it about??
MIRCH is an ensemble of five different stories into one. Predominantly it’s a female oriented subject. I’m part of one of the stories in it. Raima Sen and I are a couple in it. I play three roles in that 25 minute story. So it’s pretty interesting. The plot is new. The stories are from Panchatantra to modern day versions but from the females’ point of view. Konkona and Raima are playing the women and all have done a fantastic job in it.
What’s unique in your character this time?
I’m playing three different roles actually. One is an old Bengali guy who’s a very sophisticated businessman. The second one is a Tamilian rockstar and the third one is a modern day executive working in a software company.
Playing three roles is a big thing.
That was the challenging part about the whole thing. When Vinayji narrated the script and my story to me, he told me a unique thing which rally appealed to me. He said it will be good fun to portray three characters. That’ why said yes to the film. I’m happy that I’m a part of it. Working with Mr. Shukla was an experience in itself. There are very few directors like him or Shyam babu who take effort in every little detail in the film and in your performance. He’s definitely one of those. It was good fun working with him.
A film about women’s sexuality sounds vulgar.
The film is about female sexuality and adultery to some extent. But this topic hasn’t been handled in our films yet with this kind of manner or execution. It’s also a comedy. You will also emphatise with some of the characters. But it also depends on how you see the film. No two people are the same. You might agree with the women characters or you might not.
The film has been handled pretty aesthetically. I know Vinayji won’t try to do anything cheap or vulgar. His sensibilities are with viewers who want to watch good clean cinema.
What’s your take on infidelity?
Infidelity is absolutely bad. It’s not done. But what is right for me may not be right for others. There’s nothing that we should say that ‘Yeh nahin ho sakta‘. Anything can happen in today’s world. There’s no point in making strong statements about any particular thing. But there are certain things that we’ve learnt all our lives and which have wrong and bad consequences. Infidelity is definitely one of those. If you love your partner, you won’t stray.
The film deals with how you can get out of difficult situations with your wit. Have you got out of a situation in your life using your wit?
There are situations where I was caught and got out of it using my wit. Once in school, I ate my tiffin box before the break. I didn’t offer it to my friend who complained to the teacher. She didn’t listen to him. But my hands were dirty and we had to write an assignment. So I placed a hanky on my eye and told my teacher that it was itching. She asked to go and clean it. I went out, cleaned my hands, came back and started writing the assignment.
I try to do various kinds of films. It keeps me fresh. Also, I carry my camera wherever I go. Whenever I get bored or when I have time on hand, I start clicking pictures.
How was the experience working with Raima Sen?
Raima Sen is very good. She is pretty chilled out. Raima is a little better than Riya in terms of performance. In terms of looks, Riya is better.
It’s been five years since IQBAL released. How will you sum up these years?
No regrets. I’m pretty happy with my journey I did about 12 films in these five years. Almost 7 of them were box office hits. I don’t think I have any reason to regret. I’ll try doing my best which I have done so far. God has been kind. People have been kind. People have whole-heartedly accepted me and my work.
Why don’t we see you in solo films now? Are you comfortable doing multi-starrers?
You will see me CHEMISTRY, which is a solo film. It’s a romantic comedy. But there are not many sole films being made these days. Producers want to play it safe. So they want more and more heroes. It’s much safer. But as long as people like my work, I don’t mind if it’s a solo film or a multi-starrer.
How was the response to GOLMAAL 3?
Fantastic. I’m receiving messages till date. Someone or the other keeps watching it and calls up and says ‘Hey, I’m watching it for the fourth time with my kids. They love your part.’ It’s good when people see your films, appreciate it and go again and again to watch it. That’s exactly what you want from them. It’s and amazing feeling.
Any particular kind of film that you want to be a part of?
I don’t take myself very seriously. I go with my gut feeling. Sometimes (I do films) for friends, sometimes it’s because you want to work with a particular person like OM SHANTI OM. I wanted to work with Farah and Shahrukh so I went ahead and did it. There are certain people that you enjoy working with and you go ahead and do your stuff with them. Invariably it shapes up well because when you are in a feel good zone, it shows on screen.
What are your future projects?
Apart from my home production CHEMISTRY, I’m doing HUM TUM AUR SHABANA by Sagar Ballary. Then there’s TEEN THE BHAI which is for Rakeysh Mehra Productions.