"I am just a mere actor who tries to give his best shot everytime" - Paresh Rawal

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By Satish Sundaresan, Bollywood Hungama News Network

He is what versatility is all about. He is one of the very few legendary actors today, who can be rightly called as the guiding and guarding light of Bollywood, for he is none other than the supersonic actor par excellence Paresh Rawal! After having won the audiences hearts over and over again, Paresh is back with yet another endearing film of his Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! that's directed by none other than Dibakar Banerjee whose previous offering Khosla Ka Ghosla gave the cine goers reasons galore to flock into the theaters. Bollywood Hungama caught up with Paresh Rawal for an exclusive chat session with him:

Pareshji, to start with, you have played not single, not double, but a whopping triple role in Dibakar Banerjee's latest offering Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye. How was the overall experience?
The experience was really very exciting. I would say that I can claim this to be the turning point of my career. At the same time, I would also say that I was really lucky to have a director like Dibakar by my side; otherwise it would have been difficult to pull off three different kinds of roles! All of the characters are very real-to-life and none of them is a caricature, as everything about them (the characters) right from their dialogues to their costumes to every minute thing possible is absolutely real. All this just wouldn't have been possible without Dibakar.

What is it that got you excited about this role?
Look...I had missed out on Khosla Ka Ghosla long time back and even today, when I see that film, it pinches me so much that I still regret for not being able to do the film due to date hassles. Looking back, I can still recollect those 3-hour narration and trust me that not even for a split second, did I feel that I was listening to a film narration. I thought that I was listening to life. I have never come across such kind of film narration before. And now that I got a chance to work again with Dibakar, I did not want to let it pass. I was taken aback when Dibakar told me that I am not doing one role but three roles! Totally surprised, I asked him about the triple role, he replied "I have immense faith in you and that you will be able to pull it off."

What kind of preparation/s did you undergo for the same, considering the fact that you are someone who does not subscribe to the theory of 'method acting'?
The fact remains that since I have done so many films, it kind of became a bit difficult for me to visualize the appearance of the three characters that I play. That's when we decided to go step by step, the psyche, the behavioral pattern of each character, language, voice, costume, the physical appearance and even the walk of each character! So we went step by step and layer by layer towards each of my three characters!

You have earlier played the double role in the evergreen Andaz Apna Apna and also the Dominos ads and now a triple role! Do you feel that your triple role of OLLO will surpass them?
If you see, Andaz Apna Apna was a comedy. Hence, even if you go slightly overboard in that, it is allowed and the audiences will pardon you. But, in OLLO all the characters, be it the main leads or even the minutest of the roles, are totally realistic. If you have seen the film, you can easily recall that the characters who played Abhay's childhood roles are the ones who will convince the audience that it is them who have grown up to become 'Lucky' ( Abhay Deol). The director really needs to be applauded for having put in such tremendous hard work and detailing in the film that the overall film looks so very believable and real. So, the challenge was to look real and natural at the same time, you had to walk the path whereby you just can't afford to go wrong.

One of three characters portrays you as a typical Sardar with beard. Not many know that you have this strange allergy to beards, so much so that the beard had to be imported from abroad for a whopping amount!
It's a common fact that the Sardars always have beard. That's why at first we thought of not having the beard at all, but when I spoke to Dibakar about it, he stood by his stand and said the character should be with a beard. That's when he came up with this solution of importing the beard from abroad. Even though I am allergic to the beard as it develops rashes on my skin, I went ahead with the idea of beard, as I thought that if the character is so very strong, then, I can easily forgo the rashes.

What were the different locations where the film was shot and any memorable experience/s that you can share with us?
I was so much engrossed with the shoot that now I am at a total loss of memory! All that I remember is that I was staying in Shangrila Hotel. We started the shooting of the three roles on 11th Feb and wrapped it up by 29th Feb. that's why I had practically no time to wander my thoughts here and there. All that I know is that we had different locations, but I just do not remember them. I would have remembered them if there were any glitch during the shoot, but since the sailing was so smooth, I just did not look into anything around me, except for my characters.

Pareshji, you started off as a villain, followed it up by doing serious roles like Sardar etc... and now the present trend is that you are seen mostly in comedy films. Is it a conscious effort?
It is something that I would like to call it as a 'role-call'. The industry is like this-Previously I used to get mostly villainous roles, which I gracefully did. Amidst of all this, Ketan Mehta offered me the title role of Sardar, which was followed by a series of such roles in films like Tamanna, Sir, Raja etc... After all this, the trend of comedy started with Hera Pheri. All in all, I am open to doing all sorts of roles. An example of which can be seen in most of my recent films like Mumbai Meri Jaan, Nandita Das' soon to be released Firaaq and now OLLO, which sees me in very diverse roles. As far as making a 'conscious' effort is concerned, it's my wish to change my gears in my career to steer it the way I want. But it is not possible because, I am neither the producer, director nor even the writer. I am just a mere actor who tries to give his best shot everytime.

Are there any particular reason/ s that you do not do comedy on stage?
It's not that way. The way I would like to put the same is that, first of all, to do comedy on stage, we need to have good content. But unfortunately the materials that I have got so far to do comedy on stage is not exciting enough.

Can we touch upon your dream venture Maharathi? The sleek promos spiced up with the spine-chilling tagline are only making the cinegoer more and more curious...
Maharathi is a thriller based on my play which ran for more then 700 shows. It's a very intelligent thriller, that's not over-the-top. There are zillions of twists and turns with a fair amount of logic behind it.

Lastly, one question that's making me lose sleep is that is the film cast the same as shown in the promos? Or is there an actual 'Maharathi' who has still not been disclosed?
Yes, there is someone who is the real 'Maharathi'. That's all I can reveal to you at this very moment!

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