What happens when you met Arshad Warsi for a quick interview? Well, some great conversation for starters and plenty of laughs! Most of us remember him for his funny antics and great comic timing in films, but give him an intense role and boy, he nails it like a perfect chameleon and leaves you equally impressed.
Excerpts from our exclusive chat with the 'Irada'
'Earlier I Was Petrified To Even Say A Hi To Naseer Saab & Today, I Have My Arm Around His Shoulder, We Have A Drink Together & Laugh About It'
Q. Arshad, you had long ago said in an interview that
you never thought you would get along with Naseer Saab (Naseeruddin
Shah). Now, you both are doing your third film together. Has there
been any change in your equation with him in all these
A. If I had ever said that in the past then
that's absolutely logical. When I was first asked about my
friendship with Naseer Saab, I said back then- 'Please don't say
friendship. He is Naseeruddin Shah. I like his body of work and
what he has done. You have to be that good. If he likes you which
means you have to be of some calibre." But, today I can confidently
say that yes, he is a friend of mine. Fortunately, he respects me
as much as I respect him. Yes, the equation has changed
dramatically. Earlier I was even petried to say a 'hi' to him and
today, I have my arm around his shoulder, we have a drink together
and we laugh about it.
'Acting Comes Naturally To Me'
Q. Irada is a socially relevant film with a thriller
touch. How easy or different was it for you to get into the skin of
your character in the film?
A. It doesn't take me time to get into the
character. I don't do much of homework as in workshops and
readings. But what happens with me is that I hear a script, the
character stays in my head and then I just keep thinking about that
person till I finish the film. I am grateful to God that my work
for me is like spending a good day with great people. It doesn't
scare me. Acting comes naturally to me.
'There Is Nothing Wrong In Slotting Films Into Box Office Numbers'
Q. At the time where we talk of new-age cinema and
content-driven films, do you think that reducing a film to mere box
office numbers takes away the essence of the film?
A. It is so sad that the kind of times we are
living in. There are a lot of people who want to make socially
relevant films but then you have political parties with their
personal agenda coming in and destroying your film. Soon, these
people will stop make socially relevant films. Everyone will start
shying away and very soon stop making films that one should
As far as slotting films into box office numbers is concerned, I
think there is nothing wrong with that. Let's look at the reality
of it. It's a businessmen doing business. It's the producer who has
invested certain amount of money in a certain project and he wants
the maximum out of it. So, he is going to do what's best for him
and for that he will put the right people together who will give
him back the money. That's the reason why you have box office
numbers. There's no harm in it.
'Had I Been The Kind Of Person Who Wanted To Own A Plane, An Island & A Couple Of Rolls Royces Then I Would Say That No, I Haven't Got My Due'
Q. You are one of the most versatile actors that we have
today in Bollywood. After completing about twenty years in this
industry, do you still feel that you are to receive your
A. No. When I came in this industry, I had few
dreams in my eyes. Today, I have everything that I wanted to have.
So, I have no reason to complain or say that I haven't got my due.
I came here with nothing. Had I been the kind of person who wanted
to own a plane, an island and a couple of Rolls Royces then I would
say that no, I haven't got my due. But no, I never ever wanted
these things. So, I think that I have got more than what I had
asked for. I would have been happy with a decent income and life
too. Instead, what I have got is a luxurious
Q. Do you feel that the industry is still obsessed with
A. It will always be. It's not obsessed with
stars; it's obsessed with business and money. Everybody is obsessed
with money. The whole world is running after money. It's the
question of a businessman and his business. If he is investing so
much of money then he would want double or triple of that amount
back. Who can do that? Only a star can do that so get him. That's
how it's going to be unless and until the country changes and
starts watching content-driven films. So, it goes back and forth.
It's a vicious cycle. A producer is doing exactly what the audience
asks from him. So, you can't have the audience complaining about
it. This is what you are asking him for and that's exactly what he
is giving you. It's simple.
'I Think After Munnabhai 3, Sanju And Me Won't Be Able To Do This Franchise Anymore'
Q. Munnabhai 3 is also on the cards and Rajkumar Hirani
recently said that this is going to be the last film in the
franchise. Will you miss being Circuit?
A. No yaar, bas ho gaya abhi. I think after
this, Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) and me won't be able to do this
franchise anymore. (laughs) Maybe he could play a grandfather and
I, a father! (bursts into laughter)
Q. Finally, what's the latest update on Golmaal
A. Golmaal Again will go on the floors mostly
in March and the shooting will continue till September. It's a long
schedule. This one is going to be epic. We have almost 150 days of
shooting. Of course, I am looking forward to work with Tabu. I just
love her. She is such a good actress and so talented. It would be
fun working with her and Parineeti Chopra.