I thought Highway call was a joke: Randeep Hooda

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Actor Randeep Hooda, who has worked with filmmaker Imtiaz Ali for the first time in the upcoming film, Highway, thought that somebody was playing a prank on him when he first got the call to do the film. “I got a call from Imtiaz’s assistant director but I thought it was a joke and didn’t bother to follow up or call back. But after few days, I was approached by the film’s casting director. That was when I realised that I was being offered the film for real.”

The 37-year-old actor is all praises for the filmmaker. “Apart from being a great director, Imtiaz is an ­extremely nice guy too. He instilled a lot of trust in me,” Hooda says.

“I think Imtiaz is a ­combination of a diligent school boy and a sufi artist. He feels the same emotions that his actors go through ... he suffers with his actors,”he adds.

Hooda stars alongside Alia Bhatt and plays a truck ­driver in the film. About working with Alia, 20, in the film, Hooda says, “It was ­wonderful working with her. I have already worked with many of Alia’s family ­members, including her father (filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt), her sister (actor-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt) and her uncle (filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt). She is an extremely intelligent girl who has a long way to go. She is very mature for her age.”

The actor is busy with Main Aur Charles at present, in which he plays the ­infamous serial killer, Charles Sobhraj. Then there is Kick, in which he is ­working with Salman Khan.

“I am looking forward to working with Salman as he has always inspired me. Though we haven’t been in touch for some time, I ­consider him a friend... I have a soft corner for him,” he says.