Arshad doesn't know whether to be amused or exasperated. His release this week, Mr. White Mr. Black was earlier entitled Mr. Black Mr. White. "But then Subhash Ghai's film Black&White came along. To avoid confusion the film's title was flipped around. Aisa hota hai Bollywood mein," he says wryly and adds, "It's a nice clean comedy, and that's the only kind of comedy I can do. I can't do sleazy double-meaning comedies. That's one reason why I enjoyed doing Krazzy 4," he says from Goa where he's shooting for Golmaal Returns.
"It's so hot here. From now on, I've decided to put a clause in my contract. I won't shoot anywhere that the temperature rises above 20 degrees. I'll call it the temperature clause." For his birthday on April 19, Arshad was shooting in the middle of the ocean in Mauritius for a song in Neeraj Vora's Shortcut. "I was in Bangkok for almost two months, came back to Mumbai for two days and left for Mauritius. Now I'm in Goa and then I go to London for a long schedule. I'm seriously thinking of getting NRI status.
As for my birthday, normally I don't like birthdays. They're so embarrassing. But this one was special. Because my choreographer Bosco and 20 dancers got into a catamaran with 200 beer bottles and just sailed away into a high sky...It was...liberating," Arshad chuckles at the memory.
Equally liberating is the sleazebag he plays in Shortcut. "I've never played a more despicable character in my life. I never thought I'd play someone so lowdown. When I watched myself I thought, shit how could anyone be so cheap?" Arshad has attempted a new kind of acting in the role. "See I play a bad actor. So when the camera is on I do some terrible acting. When my character is off-sets he's a bad actor trying to behave like a normal decent guy which he is not. I just hope audiences get the point and don't accuse me of hamming." No hamming involved in his first production, which goes on the floors on July 10. "I am yet to get a proper title for it. Though, tentatively we've called it I Believe In Angels. Everyone thinks angrezi titles don't work. So we're searching for a title and a heroine. No one wants to work with me. I think I need to have a long talk with God...or maybe plastic surgery will help."
Arshad regrets missing Teen Patti with the Big B. "I'm dying to work with Mr. Bachchan. But I couldn't possibly mess around with my dates in a film that stars him. Next time. Is Madhavan doing my role? Good He's a cool guy and a good actor."