Celebrity Interview: Chunky Pandey ...

By IndiaFM News Bureau


Pandey was on a high in the 80’s and the 90’s with his films like

Tezaab and Aankhen, to mention a few. He then disappeared for 8 years

from the scene and now he is back with a bang with films like Apna

Sapna Money Money, Don and I See You. So lets find out where Chunky all

this while, about his second Innings in Bollywood and future films.

I See You was your last release of 2005. How was the experience of

working in Arjun Rampal’s first home production?

Arjun Rampal and Meher are very dear friends of mine. When they were

making the film and I was very excited because I feel that making a

film, for an actor, is one step ahead in life. It is when you finally

get to do the work you want to do in life. Originally for my role they

wanted Paresh Rawal or Arshad Warsi but they could not do it because

there were some date problems. They actually wanted me to do Boman

Irani’s role. So they narrated me the subject, I liked Boman’s role but

it was a very short. I was more in love with the other role. Then one

day Arjun called me and said, “Hey buddy we are on for it, I think you

are going to be doing it.” That was like the last resort but it was

great fun, because we are going to go to London to shoot it.

How was it working with Vivek Agarwal?

This is Vivek’s first film and he is good. Every first time director

gives little bit of his soul to the film, I always feel that. I have

worked with lot of first time directors like Vishram Sawant in ‘D’ and

I have always been good with the first time directors because they have

somehow removed the best work from me. Sometimes you need someone new

to give you some different prospect in life or a different look all

together and new directors have done that to me, so Vivek was fun to

work with.

What kind of roles you are looking forward to?

You saw what I did in Apna Sapna Money Money where I did a make

over. I did not distort my face much, but just wore a wig and I changed

my body language completely. So I want to be very different now in all

my films. People should say that ‘wow this guy is not the same’. I will

really strive to do those kinds of characters and give that little

effort. I like to be known by that and I really enjoy it because you

get bored of yourself after a certain period of time. Luckily, I don’t

have to have to play the conventional hero now. I can play these kinds

of roles which I really enjoy.

I like to be an unusual suspect and I think Paresh Rawal and Arshad

Warsi have actually opened the full door to this kind of things. So

it’s great to do this kind of job.

What are the other films in the pipeline?

I have got a film called Fool and Final coming with Firoz

Nadiadwala, which is directed by Ahmed Khan and which has got a whole

assortment of actors. The film stars Sunny Deol, Vivek Oberoi, Shahid

Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Johny Lever and me. I play very interesting

character called ‘Rocky’ who is a jewel thief.

I have got couple of other films in the pipeline, which are been

negotiated right now. I think you are going to see much more of me in

2007 like you saw in 2006.

You have done your come back, you are doing lots of such kind of

roles which attracts people towards you; people really feel that

Chunkey is doing different era?

I must say that a lot of credit goes to Ram Gopal Verma for giving

me ‘D’. I remember when he called me to do that film and I was very

excited. I went to meet him and he said, “I want you to do this film of

a ‘dreaded gangster’.” So I said, “Which film of mine have you seen

before that you feel that I can play a dreaded gangster?” He said, “I

have seen Aankhen and I loved it and I saw it three-four times.” I

said, “You have seen me in a comedy and you want me to play a

gangster?” He said, “No, but I am very confident because you have got

that range in you.”

He has seen a bit of Tezaab also and so he made me grow a beard

because Ram Gopal Varma has his way, he will make his heroines also

grow beards. He loves people with beards. He made me grow my hair long.

What I remember from that film is the death scene which I did because

that is said to be one of the most memorable scenes ever done by an

actor. Javed Akhtar saab and Shabana Azmi said this to me when they saw

the film. I guess that was when the industry stood up and said ‘Wow

this boy is back. He can still deliver and he still looks good too.’

Then after that film, I got a lot of offers like Apna Sapna Money

Money and Don and then Fool and Final. Darwaza bandh Rakho is another

film that I had done in the beginning of 2006 with Ram Gopal Varma and

I look forward to work with him again because he is someone who does

different things and loves to experiment. I like dangerous people like


You were saying that you were a bit apprehensive while doing these


No, I was very comfortable. I knew that this is going to work

because I felt comfortable doing it and Ramuji makes people very

comfortable in gangster roles because I feel in him, there is a

gangster hidden somewhere. If he did not make movie I am sure he will

be in the underworld.

Tell something about Apna Sapna Money Money? What is the history

behind your character?

My role in Apna Sapna Money Money has been appreciated a lot. I just

hope I win a few awards for that. But the more important part is that

the audiences have appreciated my performance. Frankly, the director of

the film Sangeeth Sivan came on sets of Darwaza Bandh Rakho to meet

Aftab Shivdasani. Aftab heard this character and he said, “No, I cannot

do this.”

I had just seen his film Kya Kool Hai Hum, which I thought was

really cool. He took me in corner and said, “That guy is not doing it

why don’t you do it,” I said, “Ok”, so I took someone’s reject

basically. That time this character was called Anthony Gonsalves

because the character lives in Goa but then when Subhash Ghai heard the

subject and said that he wants this character to be Nepalese Don in

Goa. He wanted to give that colorful look like he gave to Rajpal Yadav

‘Chote Sarkar’. They asked me, Will I do this Nepali thing? I said,

“why not?” But I am too tall to be a Nepali I said. Then what we

thought was, Suppose Gabbar Singh was born in Kathmandu not in Ramgadh,

how would he would be? He may be like this character. So I wore Gabbar

Singh’s clothes and my dialogues are slightly Nepali kum Pathani mix

“oh tum kya karta hai”, so it has got a little bit of pathani in it


The language is totally made by me because I speak to my daughter

Risa like that. The governess who looks after her is half Nepali half

Bengali, so she has got this accent. My daughter cannot understand

anything but that language, so I learnt that language and I brought it

on screen. It really worked and people really liked it because I am

sure if a two and a half year old can like it, then the rest of the

world can like it for sure.

How does it feel after coming back to the industry?

Yes, I am glad because after Apna Sapna Money Money, I have been

really getting some good offers. I am glad but also apprehensive if I

can do this work. I would not say I want to repeat the Apna Sapna Money

Moneyperformance unless they made a sequel of the film but I hope I can

give even better stuff and more kind of variations to the audience.

How was your association with Mr. Subhash Ghai?

I have known Subhash Ghai for a very long time. As a kid, my parents

used to know him. In fact once, I needed to go to a place and my

parents refused to give me the visa. They said I was too young. But I

replied by saying that I have just signed a film. They said they will

give it to me only if I have signed a big film like Subhash Ghai’s. So

I went to Subhash uncle, “Please give me a contract and actually that

was the first film I ever signed.”

Meanwhile you were doing Bangla Deshi cinema?

I was in Bangladesh for six-seven years working there and it was a

quite an experience.

You are a superstar over there. Tell us something about it; let the

audience know about it?

The ‘D’s in my life have been very lucky, like D for ‘Dhaka’. A

friend of mine told me why don’t you go there (Dhaka) and do films. The

first film I did was called Shami Keno Asha Me which was a super duper

hit, the biggest hit ever made in Bangladesh. Then I got a lot of other

films that came by. There was a post Aankhen time when Govinda got all

the work and I stopped getting any work because I guess I didn’t have

the backing of the directors here. I was getting work but not the work

that I wanted.

When an actor is uncomfortable doing what he has to then he comes

with bad work. So I decided let this go for sometime. The whole film

industry was undergoing a transition; there were so many new boys who

would come in and I had lost my bearings a bit. I blame it to myself

because you know I feel you have to be alert and you have to be in good

shape and constantly reinventing yourself. So I went to Bangladesh and

my film started working out there and then I decided not to make the

mistakes I have made in Bollywood. Because in Bollywood, in my first

innings, I worked with lot of new producers. But what happens with new

producers is that he starts his first film with lot of josh but somehow

he cannot complete it and give it a good release. That is why from

doing real super ‘A’ grade films, I came down to ‘B’ grade cinema,

which really deteriorated completely. It is very important to work with

good banners because an actor can never make a film run. It is a full

team work, its directors, producers everything put together.

I enjoyed this stint of five, six years in Bangladesh, did lot of

hit films out there. I have got lot of love and respect and a small

secret I do not even speak Bengali. I got scared because if I learn

Bengali, they may give me a Bangladeshi passport but I wanted to come

back to Bollywood, this is where I belong, and this is where I was

born. So that was a stop gap where I enjoyed so much. I love

Bangladeshi food, I love Bangladeshi people, and they are so nice. In

fact, they say the Bangladeshi people are the happiest people in the

world, they are genuine. They give so much love and respect that if you

go there once you want to keep going back to Bangladesh again and

again. Every time I went there I used to come back five kilo’s up.

What kind of growth do you see in yourself as an actor? You have

made a comeback now and you are doing good roles which are being


Let us say, I am like a good wine, ‘the older the better.’ I have

grown more mature and I have grown more observant. I have been actually

watching what works and what doesn’t. The game has become much bigger

than when I left. Now coming back, it is ten folds bigger. So what I

know for sure is that today good looking things are in. It is very

important to be physically fit, to look nice because people want to see

good looking things all the time. That has become the agenda of the

day, besides great performances that are really coming in. I am just

talking about the audiences the way they think, and the audiences are

the best but the most unpredictable. You never know what they are going

to like, how they are not going to react. But for sure, I know that

from now on, whatever I will do, I will try to make sure that I get

into their hearts, either from the front door or from the back door.

Because I got that experience and I think I have learnt a bit what I

should do and I should not really.


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