What is your role in Accident?
I play the role of Akshat, an IT guy who is working in California in Accident which is being produced by Pritish Nandy Communications and directed by Abhijeet Bhattacharya. The film is about how horror strikes and what happens when Akshat decides to move to India for a change, along with his wife played by Soha Ali Khan. I can identify a lot with the role of Akshat, because like Akshat, my sister and brother in law who were also in IT have come back to India from the USA
Considering the fact that you are always extra choosy as an actor, what made you grab the project?
I liked the script as well as the team behind the project and hence decided to grab the project though it is true that I have been extra choosy about my films and select very few that appeal to me. In order of preference I go by first the script and my role and then I see who the director is and then the team.
How has the experience of working with a director like Abhijeet been?
It has been wonderful working with a director like Abhijeet because he is a perfect mix ion visual aesthetics and performance. Abhijeet has a good grip over his actors and their performances, especially since he has an ad background.
Why do you have this reputation of not being friendly with your leading ladies?
An actor need not be a good friend of every actor with whom he is acting, though he has to be friendly. I am friendly with my co-actors. I may know you for several years but that does not mean that you are my best friend.
Preity Zinta did not invite you to her party after the shoot of Har Pall. Why?
Yes. It is true that Preity Zinta who is my leading lady in Jahnu Barua"s Har Pall did not invite me to a party that she hosted. So what? However let me clarify that what Preity had stated had been picked out of context by the media. Preity had only stated that both she and I did not hang out after the shoot with each other. What she said was true.
You have been described as shy and introvert. Describe the real Shiney Ahuja!
Neither have I ever been extra friendly nor have I insulted any one in my life. Let me assert that I am neither shy nor an introvert as I have been labeled all these years ever since I had made my debut with Sudhir Mishra"s Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi. It is just that I prefer to spend as much time with my wife Anupam and daughter who I love dearly, as soon as the pack up is announced.
Is it true that you have made an attempt to break your image as an actor with Har Pal?
As an actor, it has never been my endeavor to break my image. Though I played a negative role in Vinod Pandey"s Sins, I played a serious role in Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi. In Jahnu Barua"s Har Pal, I do not have a serious image. It is my first ever romantic comedy, though Preity has essayed similar roles before. It is in fact a different film for Jahnu Barua who has been making serious issue based films earlier including Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Maara.
Do you think that it is a handicap as an actor, being saddled with serious roles?
You would not believe it but the fact is that when I was doing theatre way back in Delhi, I had never ever done a serious role and all my friends there used to tell me not to try to go to Mumbai and try my luck as an actor in Bollywood for the simple reason that I was not at all cut out to do serious roles.
Why did you decide to do a small part in a big set up like Bhool Bhulaiya?
I decided to take up the offer to do a part in an Akshay Kumar project like Bhool Bhulaiya only because the film had Priyadarshan as the director and ten times more budget than the kind of films which I used to do earlier. I feel that it is good to be a part of a film that has a certain reach.
How did you feel being overshadowed in Bhool Bhulaiya?
If you ask me whether I felt overshadowed by Akshay Kumar in the film, all that I can say that I am only a three year old actor in films whereas Akshay has put in nineteen more years than I have. I have always believed in my part and my director. Considering that all the jokes in the film start only after Akshay makes his entry in the interval of the film, it was a foregone conclusion that Akshay would walk away with all the applause in the film.
There is a complaint against you that you interfere with your directors.
I do not know how I have been labeled as an interfering actor. It is far from true. I just do my job as an actor and do not interfere with my directors. Earlier the media used to write that Aamir was interfering with his directors but now that Aamir has proved to be a successful mega star, now it is being said that Aamir is only contributing for the betterment of his film.
Which films are in your kitty after Har Pall and Accident?
Right now I am excited about playing the interesting role of Richard in James Ordinez in his International film Silver Cord. I was zeroed in for the project after the producers had seen my performances in films like Gangster and Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi. Silver Cord is a science fiction romantic film. It is quite sad that in India science fiction films have never worked in the past because we try to cut corners and make a 30 crores film in 3 crores.