Arshad Warsi admits he has hiked his price after the success of Ishqiya. But he isn't sure if he'd be paid what he's asking.
Says the actor, "I'd have asked for what I deserve even if Ishqiya hadn't worked. I'm finally asking for the price I deserve. I was completely underpaid earlier. I'll ask for a certain price now (Rs. 3 crores). If I don't get it I'll continue to be an underpaid actor for films I believe in. For example if I am asked to do a sequel to Ishqiya, I wouldn't ask for money. I haven't ever asked for money for the Munnabhai movies. If I feel the film helps me in any way as an actor I'll cut my price."
But Golmaal, Arshad feels is a commercial film and therefore should be lucrative for him. "Golmaal doesn't help the actors at all. It only helps the director. Munnabhai does help the actors. Even Dhamaal whose sequel I'm doing doesn't help actors. Golmaal and Dhamaal mean another hit for me. Nothing more."
Between Golmaal 3 and Dhamaal, Arshad is doing Mani Ratnam's assistant Bijoy Nambiar's gritty real-life drama. "After Golmaal 3, I'll do a small-budget film before going into Dhamaal. It's the kind of film that enthuses me as an actor. I play a cop in a real-life setting in Mumbai."
Arshad was almost not in Golmaal 3 because of the price factor, though he gives another reason for his near non-presence in Golmaal 3. "I needed a gap of at least two weeks between the last day of my own production and the first day of the shooting of Golmaal. After running around like a mad man for the promotion of Ishqiya and completing Hum Tum Aur Ghost, I really needed a break. I've had no chance to relax. But now I'm starting Golmaal 3 on the day after the release of Hum Tum Aur Ghost. So no respite. I really begged them for time off."
He's also not sure if he's part of the Munnabhai franchise anymore. "In the last conversation that I had with Rajkumar Hirani he said he's working on his script. It looks like we might be doing it at the end of the year. But until it happens I can't be sure. What I'm sure of are the Golmaal and Dhamaal sequels."
Says Arshad, "I'm very much obliged to the makers of Golmaal for making me a part of their franchise. My equity is bound to increase with the sequels."
Arshad will now turn director in 2011. A real action thriller but very stylish in execution. "I'm ready to direct. It's a film called Akadd. It will be very realistic quirky action comedy. I won't be beating up 25 people in the film. The style of acting, dialogue delivery, the actors' body language would all be life-like. The heroine's role is very important."