By IndiaFM News Bureau
Tell us how did Salam-e-Ishq happen to you?
Like the way every film happens, there is a director, there is a script, there is a producer, they approached me and I liked the film and the role and I accepted it.
What does Salam-e-Ishq mean to you?
It means to me like any other film, it is a good film, it is a film with a lot of skill and unless the film is good, I do not do it, so when I do the film that means it has to be special.
Tell us something about the track?
It is a kind of film where individual tracks do not matter, so ultimately the entire result, when you see the whole film in totality is what makes the film exciting. It is a huge star cast and the best thing about this film is that inspite of having such a huge star cast, everybody got along very well. Everybody has good things to speak about and say about each other. So there is a positive kind of a vibration where this film is concerned. We had a lot of interaction while making the film but still I feel that everybody looks happy doing the film. It is very rare, that the film has so many people and still everybody seems to be very positive about this film.
Tell us little bit about your character?
I feel it would be better if you see the film and see what my character is about.
There are several other stories also, are they all parallel to each other?
I feel that the exciting part of the film is that you go and see the film and let the audience be curious and intrigue about the whole thing. How it is done and why everybody is so pleased and why everybody is so positive about this film inspite of being such a huge star cast. Let everything related to the film be a mystery and let the audience go and see the film and after seeing the film, let them decide about my character in the film.
How is Nikhil as a director?
I was interacting with him before the Salam-E-Ishq was offered to me because Boney Kapoor has signed him for a film which he was supposed to do for us. I had not really worked with him on the sets but otherwise meeting and interacting with him, I knew him. Obviously, psychologically, it makes a difference, when you have a very big success behind you and you speak very well when you meet and all. You have very positive impression because success is a very strange kind of effect on people. But me being in films for so many years and interacting with so many good, successful, intelligent film makers, there is a little judgment, which I have about people and about films and directors. But whenever I met him, I got a feeling that he is going to make a fabulous film, a super film; I have that intuition, and that instinct. I always told him just get into it, just start working, because he was a slightly nervous as he has just branched out from Karan Johar and there was a lot of controversy and a lot of things and I know how an individual especially someone who is not from the film family feels when he is attached to such a big company and then has to part ways and start on his own. So he was tentative before the film started and for the first one or two days, but I just think that he has come on his own, after the second and third day, I felt that he is one the finest directors.
Juhi Chawla is playing opposite to you how is your rapport with her?
We are professionals, rapport and all these things are for the youngsters, who have just started their careers. For me, it is the role and if the person opposite to me is a good actress then it is much better for me and Juhi is a fine actress, I really enjoyed working with her. She is definitely a really very fine actress; it was fun working with her. It is always great to work with professionals and actors who really know the job well and Juhi is one of them.
Tell us something about the music?
I love the music. There are times when just one or two tracks are very good in a film but after a long time, this is a film which has all very good numbers.
How was your whole experience?
Experience has to be good, that is the reason I am sitting in front of you. Otherwise I would not be giving this interview to you. I am just waiting for the film to release.
What is the USP of this film?
USP of the film is the entire script, the scale, the values, the entertainment, the performance, the direction, the action, the photography which is absolutely exquisite. Last year there have been really big successes in the Indian film industry but I happen to be a few of them. With all due respect, the films are very successful and I just felt that the audience is being very kind to us and very kind to these film makers. Obviously, we all are very happy with the films which have been huge successes. But now with this film, sometimes I get worried because it is very good, so I hope that people react to very good films because there were certain films, which were not that good and they became such big successes. “aisa to nahi hai na ke aajkal acchi filmoko log pasand nahi karte.” That is the fear I have because the film is really good.
What are the other films in the pipeline?
After Salam-E-Ishq, I have a film called Welcome, which is again with Anees Bazmi, but Salam-E-Ishq technically is my next film after No Entry. I have not had a release, I had one or two guest appearances which I had in a few films last year but basically it is my new film after No Entry. I have not had a release since a year. No Entry was directed by Anees Bazmi and now again I am doing a film with Anees Bazmi and the film is almost completed and it should release in May. The films name is Welcome, it is an out and out comedy and I think I will have Subhash Ghai’s film, Black and White. We are working together in this film after Taal, so these are the three films.
You have talked about No Entry, it was a track where you have played a very scared husband, where getting into an extramarital affair was very difficult but this is one track in Salaam-e-Ishq where you fall in love after your marriage, so how do you correlate these two characters. What if it happens to you if you fall out of your marriage and you fall in love with a girl who is half of your age?
No Entry is a film where I have an affair outside my marriage and in this film also I am happily married with children. Happily means not very happy, that is what I feel. Actually I feel that the happiness is not on the surface, I imagine that I am not happy, I am bored with my married life. So No Entry was an out and out comedy but this is not, it has got the light moment but it is a very romantic, you cannot say on a serious level but on a real level.
No Entry was a little fascicle, a little comical, this is very real, the whole situations and the interactions and the performances are on the real side, with the lighter side of the situation. Also, there is a lot of entertainment, so that is the difference between No Entry and Salam-E-Ishq. But if you see in No Entry also I was married. I was married to Lara Dutta and get attracted towards Bipasha Basu. But in that I get attracted to her physically but in Salam-e-Ishq; it is physical as well as mental. So that is the difference and as I said Salam-E-Ishq is very real and very identifiable, even No Entry was very identifiable but I am sure that my role in Salam-E-Ishq is very identifiable because I am sure that every person in his life, goes through this kind of a situation and how man is basically a kind of an animal who always looks around and gets attracted and infatuated towards her and specially when the girl is half of his age.
Have you ever faced such a situation in your real life?
I face this kind of a situation everyday.
At the age of forty a man becomes naughty but looks like you are still sixteen, It look like you are still intact with your sixteen years of age?
I know where I stand, I see myself in the mirror, on the screen, I look slightly better but that is because I look after myself, I maintain myself. But you don’t expect me to run around trees and sing songs, obviously I have done all these things and now I have to do songs that have to be very much suiting my character or otherwise I just cannot break into a song today. So these are the things which you have to change with time and fortunately for me the films have been written around me, roles have been written for me, characters are written for me.
Today also the top film makers are showing interest. They really do want to work with me and vice versa, so it is great time for all of us. Especially for an actor like me. my hard work and my sincerity are getting very involved with the work Twenty years back or fifteen years back, they would have taken it in a very negative way and they would have felt that he gets involved too much, he puts on weight, loses his weight, why he has to do so much, I was one of the actors who used to do anything for the character and now I can see that everyone is doing the same thing. So it is more the merrier. Now I do not feel like an outsider, I feel that now I am with the people who are thinking the way I used to think.
Aren’t you happy, the way you used to portray your roles, grew your moustaches, remove them, cut your hair, now the trend is coming in the market, look at Guru, Mr Abhishek Bacchan, he was required to do that. So you must be happy that the trend which you set twenty years back actually been realized by people now and people are understanding the authenticity of an actor on screen?
I used to get very uncomfortable by artificial beards and wigs in one of the films I did, it does not only get into the character where the lines you mouth, you cannot completely physically transform yourself. But trying your best to give something different to the film, to the audience, you have to be yourself. One cannot change that much but just little changes in the way you walk, the way you look, your hairs, your smile, your dialogue delivery, your physicality, according to the character, it is not that you are just going to the set and just get away with your lines, do a little bit of your homework. It is exciting.
As you said that you love to get into the skin of the character, you have also tried lot of genres, like you have tried comedy, action and then romantic. Which genre you enjoyed the most?
All of them. Sometimes you are going through a phase of your life where you want to only do comedies and sometimes you are going to an intense phase of your life and suddenly an intense script comes to your way and you just think that I will do this. But basically, I feel that the audience wants entertainment, they do want to see dramatic films, but ultimately they want the entertainment as well. Salam-E-Ishq is a pure mainstream entertainer with logic, it has done in a very realistic way and I am sure that people will love the film.