The word ‘cute’ used to pop up five years ago if you asked any girl to describe Vatsal Sheth. Today, he refuses to comment on that because he is too handsome to be cute. His jaw line is more defined, his masculinity is better than before and his confidence is brimming. But it was his film Heroes that put him in the league of gentlemen. Did we forget his six pack abs? The fact is Vatsal has reached that point, both professionally and personally, where ‘escape’ is necessary. ‘Escape’ here means ‘Marriage’. Or does it? UK’s Harrow Observer columnist and Bollywood Hungama‘s London correspondent Devansh Patel questions the actor on marriages being scary, marketing taking over story telling, the My Name Is Khan controversy, his commercial success, his beautiful co-star Tabu and the woman he wants to escape (get married) with – Angelina Jolie. Toh Baat Pakki samjhe?
Tell me, how scary can marriages get?
Fortunately, I’m not married, so I can’t tell you (laughs). Seriously, I don’t think that marriages are scary. I think it’s how you look at it. You can say that the cup is half full or half empty. I am an optimist and have a very positive attitude towards life. Institution of marriage is something that I respect.
Success is very unpredictable.
Marketing has taken over the story telling in today’s day and age…
I’ve always believed that one should do their job with honesty and give in their hundred percent. When my producer tells me that we need to promote our film in press conference, we have to listen to him. That’s our job. We get paid to do that. So we do it with honesty. Now it’s up to them what they are doing and how they are promoting their films. Publicity and marketing in today’s day and age has taken over big time…but it hasn’t affected the story telling. It’ll always remain the strongest ingredient in filmmaking.
What about My Name Is Khan controversy?
I think it’s quite unfortunate whatever has happened to the film, Shah Rukh, Kajol and Karan Johar before the release of their film. I don’t think it’s right in saying that whatever controversies took place before the release of the film was a marketing gimmick. As an Indian, you have the freedom of speech to express whatever and however you want to. If some people have objection to it, you don’t take up violence and try and stop the release. One should resort to non-violence. Such incidents don’t affect SRK alone but the entire film industry.
How hungry are you in terms of your commercial success?
See, I have done big films. Tarzan was with Ajay Devgn, Heroes was with Sunny Deol and Salman Khan. You will never know the formula for success. If it works for you, it works. Paranormal Activity broke all records in the US but didn’t do well here. The Hangover did amazingly well in India and not in the overseas. That’s success for you – very unpredictable.
Actors have in the past wished to work with Nargis & Madhubala. Then there was the desire to work with Sridevi and Smita Patil. Then came Madhuri Dixit & Karisma Kapoor. Today, not many get an opportunity to work with Tabu. You lucky?
Yes I am. Tabu is one of the finest actresses we have in our industry. The fact about Tabu is that she isn’t seen much in Hindi cinema. So we don’t see her in newspapers and read much about her. I didn’t know her as much as I did know Salman Khan and Preity Zinta before I acted in Heroes. But she made us feel so comfortable. It was great fun working with Tabu. We used to play games and crack jokes. As an actress she never used to give more than one take. She is supremely talented.
Tabu never required more than one take
What do you think is the USP of Toh Baat Pakki?
USP of Toh Baat Pakki is its lovely story. It’s very sweet and more like a Hrishikesh Mukherjee kind of a film. Its fun and a family entertainer. Plus, it’s Tabu coming back after a sabbatical and Sharman Joshi right after the success of 3 Idiots.
Any of your friends or family members have ever been put into a bizarre situation like in the film?
At the end of the day, this is a film. I don’t know in real life if such things do exist. But if you’ve already announced your marriage with someone then why would you announce it the second time with someone else? It’s strange but I’ve never heard of such things happen to anyone whom I’ve known in real life. If I go through my own, I’ll let you know (laughs). Yes, a lot of people might relate to their own real life incidents, who knows!
Your perfect bride?
I was very happy when I read the news about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt getting split (laughs). I’m sad for Brad but very happy for Angelina. So there is a point one chance for me here. The only thing I want from a girl is honesty because I am going to give her back what she gives me (laughs).