Those fine actors Harsh Chhaya and Samir Soni stepping into the gay zone for Madhur Bhandarkar's Fashion haven't really helped Kushal Punjabi. The role that went to Samir Soni was almost cast when Kushal Punjabi (seen stealing the show as John Abraham's friend in Kaal and Goal) had a long meeting with Madhur Bhandarkar. Apparently, Madhur liked the actor but didn't find him suitable to play gay.
"I really got along well with Madhur. He's my kind of a director. But I really didn't see myself in that role at all. I'd like to work with directors like Madhur who look at actors as actors and not as stars," laughs Kushal. Enough of being shortchanged by lesser actors who happen to be stars.
Kushal has had some bitter experiences in the past dealing with roles that turned out to be far less important than he was led to believe. Apparently, nearly half of Kushal's role in Vivek Agnihotri's Goal was chopped off. Kushal refuses to dwell on that one. "I wouldn't like to say anything on this. But yes, the big opportunities still elude me. I may be doing a role in Aamir Khan's Delhi Belly. But that apart I won't sign on anything that comes my way just because I don't have a better option. There're always the ads to keep me going. It's a pity, it didn't work out with Madhur. I would have really liked to work with him. But really I didn't see myself in that part."
Kushal is currently being considered by a very major production house for the second lead with Akshay Kumar. "But the problem is, once you acquire the reputation of a competent actor the big stars shy away from working with you." It happened with Arshad Warsi. Now it's happening with Kushal. "But it's okay. I make enough money to live the way I want to. In fact, I've just bought myself a home. And in Bombay that's a dream come true."