He admits he plays the second lead in Vivek Agnihotri's Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal. "But that's not why I've been missing from the promotional interviews," Arshad Warsi, all set to launch his production house, is hunky-dory. "I was in bed for two weeks. I had terrible allergy attack. My face was completely swollen. It started with a viral fever. But after two days I started getting itchy and swollen. I had kept time aside for Goal promo. Thank God I wasn't the only actor in the project. That would've been disastrous."
Arshad realizes he needs to do films that are more "me -centric". "But I can't complain. I got into Goal with my eyes closed. And I'm very honestly saying the problems with John and Bipasha were highly exaggerated by the media. Bipasha is a very honest clean-cut girl. I had no problems with either her or John."
He admits there was a problem with the narration. "I get so involved with my character and go so deep into it that I become one with my character. When the character starts going haywire I have to protest." Arshad found his character getting inconsistent on a couple of occasions. "Nothing major….But I remember there was a moment when after a football match my character suddenly had to behave in a weird and aggressive way. I couldn't understand why I had to be presented in that way."
He admits the dialogue was changed. "But it was a minor thing. And I made sure my character wasn't inconsistent. I knew Goal was John's film, and I knew what I had to do with my character. I was given a fair deal all the way to the promotion and publicity. It's like Om Shanti Om. It is Shah Rukh's film. Arjun Rampal couldn't be in all the publicity. Likewise Goal is John's film."
Arshad says casting himself in the lead isn't his primary motivation for turning producer. "I'm not producing a film to play the lead. I thought of an idea and I wrote the script. I told Raja Sen to direct it and I asked him to tell me which actors he wants. He said he wanted me."
Naseeruddin Shah and Konkona Sen-Sharma are the other two actors Arshad wants in his first production. "In the meanwhile I've done two films Sunday and Krazzy 4 with Irrfan Khan.”He's so completely different in both. And we both play the lead in Krazzy 4. That's one film where I get enough space to qualify me as the lead. The director Raja Sen is methodical. Now that he's directing for me I managed to get all the crew in place when my shooting starts six months from now. That's how I want to work. Who wants extra headaches?"
All said and Dhan-dhana-done Arshad is proud of Goal. "It's my first non-comedy role in a long time. I got to do a serious role after Saher. And that for me was a big attraction. Secondly, I got to play football. That was very interesting. "
Ask Arshad if Vivek Agnihotri is a good director. And Arshad gets candid. "He's a good technician. He has a method to his madness. He visualizes and executes well. "
He describes Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal as a bright sports film. "Chak De India had an element of realism. Goal is an out-and-out entertainer. I'd like to be accepted in a serious role. Don't look at me as a comedian in this film. When you leave Goal you'll walk out with John. But you won't forget me. "