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Kunal is doing a lot of ads these days. He says he made no conscious effort to build a cool suave image through the ads. "For me choosing the ads that jell with my temperament taste and morality is as important as choosing the right films. If you're particular about the movies you do, you extend the same attitude to ads. My first ad for a brand of shirts was followed by a cola ad. In the new shirt ad which I just shot I go into normal places like in a bus, etc. I guess I'm a regular kind of guy. But I become very emotionally attached to the brand that I endorse. I've to believe in what I endorse. Again, it's the same as a movie where we become one big family as long as we shoot." Ads, says Kunal, provide much less satisfaction than movies.
The year 2007 has so far been a mean year for the lean actor. "But you know, a lot of people liked me in Laaga Chunari Mein Daag even better than Rang De Basanti. Personally, I enjoyed doing the film. But after Rang De….I had raised my own bars for success. That standard in my head wasn't matched by Laaga Chunari's box-office." Fow now Kunal is work-less. Why so choosy? "I look at a character and find some quality that I love. My character Aslam in Rang De… was sincere. Sabby in Hat Trick was juvenile. I found him funny. Others didn't, ha ha. In Laaga….I was very laidback. I've to feel for the film and my character."
From Aslam to the hoodlum in Aaja Nachle. "Ha, Imran is a bit of a hoodlum. A bully….He's a powerless small- town goon who likes to throw his weight around. Konkona was again my co-star in this film after Laaga Chunari…Though we share a very different relationship. So the equation was different."
Madhuri…..Ah, Kunal sighs. "I've worked with a lot of actors whose fans I am. But Madhuri was extra-special. I told her I've seen Hum Aapke Hain Koun as many times as M.F Husain saab. It took me a while to realize she was a normal human being. For a while I'd be shocked when she would get sweaty while working. How can Madhuri Dixit feel the heat? She's too normal."
Of the four films he has done, Kunal says he has never had so much fun. "At the last count we had 32 wrap-up parties. We've celebrated any and every thing we could think of. Aditya Chopra calls us a love-sick unit because everyone seems to be in love with one another. It's great fun in an ensemble cast. Both Rang De and Aaja Nachle have been very special. Aaja Nachle could've been a very dramatic film. Our director Anil Mehta has kept it very light." Kunal calls Anil Mehta 'Buddha'. "I want to know what goes on inside his head beneath that calm extrerior."
Aaja Nachle has been a party for Kunal. "Ranbir Shorey and Vinay Pathak had us in splits. Since they're best friends off screen they're a laugh riot on the sets. What a pair they make!"
Hrithik is Kunal's best friend. "I've grown up with him, though I was never part of the industry. I've friends like Amrit Sagar, Goldie Behl and Abhay Deol. The building I stayed in had a lot of film folks. So I was never star-struck…unless it's Madhuri Dixit."