"I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing but everyone has unanimously said that I look like no other actor in the film industry. There is no one as good looking as me they say", quotes Ruslaan Mumtaz. Sitting casually as if he were ten to fifteen films down, this young actor possesses confidence which is sky high. Is that good? Is that bad? Only the box office can judge him better. Awaiting his third release is Ruslaan. The guy from Earth, he is humble, sweet and rooted...rooted to his films and to what he does best - acting. This correspondent caught up with the upcoming actor to know more about Jaane Kahan Se Aaye Hain, Riteish Deshmukh, Nikhil Advani and why Jacqueline Fernandez is a better gamble than Katrina Kaif in Bollywood.
Your third release. First didn't work, second got a critical acclaim. Will the third one get you the much needed commercial success?
I hope I get that much needed commercial box office success. As an actor, I'll keep on working but as a hero, these are the few chances you get early on in your career. If I don't deliver this time around, it'll get tougher and tougher each time. One day a point comes that everyone will say, 'Ruslaan, you cannot become a star, so please act.' I don't want to reach that stage. I hope because of Riteish Deshmukh, Jacqueline Fernandez, producer Nikhil Advani and director Milap Zaveri, people come to see Jaane Kahan Se Aaye Hain.
What sort of feedback have you been getting for the film on what's working and what's not?
All I can do is get it out there. I don't know what works. Marketing, bikini shots, etc. For me, everything works. But there is a film like this which exists. It is a different attempt. It is a young film. College people will go and watch it but the older people least care about our film. That's the feedback I'm getting currently.
Special effects films have mostly failed at the box office in our industry. Will JKSAH fall prey?
JKSAH isn't a special effects film. But it has four sequences in the film that the VFX guys have worked on which has come out very well in the film. We do not have any effects to show off. As much it is about this girl who comes from Venus, you'll hardly see any special effects. As I said earlier, it is a real film.
Is the film a kriss kross, a miss match of sorts when it comes to romance? That's what we hear.
Friendship is love. We've had this theme in lot's of movies before. JKSAH is also around the same area. The concept of JKSAH is - A boy from Earth and a girl from Venus. There isn't a miss match or a kriss kross. You need to see the film to see what happens.
Is JKSAH a risk as far as the genre is concerned?
Any film is a risk, isn't it? If you make a film with Akshay Kumar, you have to make it at a certain budget, a budget higher than a Riteish Deshmukh film. JKSAH is a risk and even an Akshay Kumar film is a risk.
How gorgeous is the woman from Venus?
Jacqueline is a very good actress to have in a film because she is gorgeous. I really like the fact that she has dubbed in the film herself. She has done a good job. As an actress, there is nothing to stop Jacqueline. After two three films of showing how beautiful she looks, I'm sure Jacqueline will be doing some meatier and meaningful serious cinema too.
Is she as lucky as Katrina?
Jacqueline is better than Katrina Kaif in all departments. May be she has come to India to become an actress by looking and getting inspired by Katrina Kaif. But may be Katrina happened by chance. She got a lot of luck. Katrina learned through her way but Jacqueline learnt and came. There is a lot of difference in both their personalities.
Do you see yourself doing an ensemble cast film or a few solo projects too?
My first two films were solo projects. After seeing both my earlier films, I got bored of myself. If I as a viewer cannot watch my films again and again, that means I need to work with other actors who are interesting. I watch Riteish's films. Whichever films he has been a part of in the last five years, I've never missed any. To do a film with him makes sense as an audience also. The way my role was written tempted me even further to work in JKSAH. After reading, I found out that any young actor like me would really benefit from this film. So I grabbed this brilliant opportunity to work with Riteish and Jacqueline.
Is your role meatier?
To be honest, Riteish and Vishal have got lengthier roles in JKSAH. But my role is very important. The importance given to my character is very strong. I'm very happy. I wasn't in the publicity of JKSAH and I still didn't have any insecurity. Once the audience leaves the theatre, they'll surely take me with them.
Your interactions with Nikhil Advani.
We all know that his debut film Kal Ho Naa Ho rocked. His Salaam-E-Ishq bombed but I really loved that film. He is supremely talented. I really liked Chandni Chowk to China also and I got hammered by a lot of people for it but that's my opinion. When Nikhil Advani offers a film, not even big stars say 'No' to him. So there was no chance I'd ignore JKSAH. He is respected and knows his stuff too well. My look and the way I've been presented was approved by Nikhil and that's what he knows best.