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The actor with an inborn comic flair, Javed Jaffrey tickled your funny bone two years back in his Crocodile Dundee avatar in Salaam Namaste. And he returns with the same team of director Siddharth Anand and Saif Ali Khan in Yashraj film's Ta Ra Rum Pum. So will he be equally insanely funny in this film as well?
Read on as he gets in an exclusive conversation with us on this film and his forthcoming lineup...
You played a hilarious character in Salaam Namaste. Can we expect something similar in Ta Ra Rum Pum?
No, it's quite different and that's why they are underplaying it in the publicity. My character is an integral part of the script. In the film, only Saif and Rani and their two kids play lead roles. The only other prominent role apart from them is this guy. He is a manager cum coach cum friend. He is a funny character to an extent but not crazy. Since he is a manager cum coach, the script didn't permit him to be crazily funny like my character was in Salaam Namaste. They could have picked any lead actor for this because it's a proper main supporting role. Thankfully for me it's worked out really good as there are lots of ups and downs in the role. There are not many characters in the film.
Getting along with Saif Ali Khan would have been nostalgic
Very much! Saif is a thorough professional and focused on his work. He is not a selfish actor. He doesn't try to impose himself into a scene where he is not supposed to. He is very well balanced and has got a great sense of comedy which has worked in this film.
Do you think that new age directors are treating comic characters with a lot more difference? The comedians now are more intelligent and not buffoons
You know that's a very wrong term. We tend to say clown. Why are there clowns in circus? Because they have to explain something without speaking lines to people who don't understand the language. There are people in the audience, all of whom speak different languages. And the clown has to make everybody laugh. He opts to the physical comedy. That's what this country is all about. Comedians of the past had to cater to the audience which was hugely diverse. To cater to 90 per cent illiterate audience isn't an easy job. We are catering to the masses and most of them are illiterate so we have to understand that. And I think it's brilliant because they made the common man laugh. Today, the so called intelligent comedian fails to make common people laugh. They don't understand what you are saying so either you make that two percent understand and get some praise and get some critics award or you have that 90 percent laughing with you.
Today, the literacy level has gone up and the concept of multiplex audience is coming in. Now there's no separate comedian; rather he will be part of the script. So whether the lead actor plays or supporting actor plays a comic role, it doesn't become a separate track. Earlier it wasn't like that. Now the comedy is a part of the script, so whether it's a lead, supporting or the villain, the comedy is infused accordingly.
You are also doing the remake of Victoria No. 203.
Yes, I play the main villain in the film. He is extremely rich. When he can't buy things he steals it. He is like 'I made you an offer and you said no, so it's ok now I'll take it'. He has a strange humor but quite deadly. He'll kill without thinking. He is totally a selfish man.
Interestingly, you even started your career with a negative role in Meri Jung.
Yes, and the last one I did was in Boom. I thoroughly enjoyed doing that role. I like playing any role that excites me as an actor. An actor can't be playing only positive or negative role. My intention is to play lead roles, whether they are positive negative or funny doesn't matter.
Whose character are you playing from the original?
In the original it was played by Anwar Hussain. The role has been made much bigger. There are two roles which have been altered - Navin Nischol's role which is now being played by Jimmy Shergill and Anwar's role being done by me. My role has become much bigger. I have written a song; I sang it and I am going to choreograph it as well.
That sounds interesting. Please elaborate
Ya, I have written a song on a situation which is very interesting. As I said I'll also choreograph that song. Kamal Sadanah wanted me to do it. The last song that I sung was Mumbhai in Bombay Boys. The song in Victoria No.203 is an attitude song. Viju Shah has composed it. It will be picturized on me and Preeti Jhangiani. I'll be working on it from next month.
Indra Kumar's Dhamaal again sounds like a comedy film.
Arshad Warsi and I are brothers in the film. Arshad plays an over smart guy and I play a dumb guy. My character's name is Manav and Arshad is Adi so we are 'Adimanav' in the film. It's a comedy film.
What about the offbeat film Forest? That looks like a more serious subject.
I am playing the lead role in Forest. It's a dark thriller and a relationship based film. There is a man-eating leopard somewhere in the background. The film makes environmental statements. The film is very well written and performances are very nice. There are four main characters in the film played by Nandana Sen, Ankur Vikal, a boy named Salim and me. I play a forest officer in the film. It's about a very complex relationship.
You have done very few films but remarkable characters. Is it because you go for selected movies only or you are not getting interesting offers?
To be very honest I am not getting right stuff which I like so whatever I have chosen has been done after a lot of deliberation. I like interesting characters. I flow with the current wherever it takes me. I don't think too much. I do my work
Any plans in getting into film production?
Well you hit on the right target. Currently only talks are going on but I can't speak about it till something concrete materializes.