Tell us about your role, in Garv.
In Garv, I play an upright, righteous police officer .He is very definite about what he wants to achieve and will give his life for his country and the department
Salman and you have been seen together in lighthearted comedy films before. How was it rubbing shoulders in a film where the two of you have intense roles?
Yes I agree we are doing something different together this time. Earlier we were together in comedies and were pitted against each other. Here we are doing intense roles, and are on the same side. We believe in the same values, we have the same intensity and most importantly both characters are important in the department.
It is great working with Salman, not just because he is my brother but also because he is a great actor.
Did it help to have your brother playing the main protagonist?
I don’t think so. Obviously there are advantages, of having your brother as the atmosphere becomes congenial and comfortable automatically, but there is no misuse or leeway. Ultimately it’s the film and the script that stands out and is given importance. If the director feels that a scene from a film has to go, it goes, never mind if it has the star’s brother in it. I am offered the roles, not because I am recommended, but because the director and producer feel that I suit that character. Our work and the way we do it is very professional that way.
Garv has a host of characters. Do you think your character will stand out?
Yes that’s true, there are a host of characters in this film. But my character will stand out and leave an impact .I say that because there is a very good progression of my character as far as the script is concerned in this film. I think after Salman’s role mine will stand out as the next most important character.
How was it working with Puneet Issar, a writer and director, as this was his first time?
Puneet started off for me as a writer first. When he narrated this script to me and explained my character, I was very happy with the detail in which the film was written. The lines and dialogues were excellent. At that time there were no cop films lined up, I thought this was a great cop movie to be a part of.
I was aware of Puneet’s reputation, as a successful television director, but films is a completely different ball game. But it takes only a few hours or just a day after working with an individual to know if you are in the right hands. And with Puneet I realized that in a matter of hours.
The great thing about Puneet is that he has the technique to put his vision on film and if it were not for him as a writer-director. I probably wouldn’t have done this film.
With so many big names getting into cop roles of late, from Amitabh to Akshay Kumar, now Salman, is it difficult preparing for a cop’s role?
See here is where I think a writer- director becomes important. This is where he makes a distinct differentiation between the roles that have been done and what my personality is, and how I suit the character in a film. It does not work if the writer writes something, the director conceives something, and the actor ends up acting something else. That’s why I prepared hard with Puneet understanding the character, how does he react, what is his behaviour, his frustration and anger about his work and with the system, and then trying to perform the same.
Films project incidents and characters in a larger than life manner, and it’s upto the director and the actor to first understand the character and then depict it in such a way that is larger than life.
Your role as a villan in ‘Qayamat’ worked. Your hunch on this one?
I think I am bang on this one. If there is any subject I have heard in terms of detailing and work put in, this is one of the best characters I have seen.
Sometimes characters are conceived brilliantly but are not projected well enough. In Garv my character has been conceived and presented excellently. I think if there is any role that turn someone’s career or get someone noticed it’s these kinds of roles. Although I am not the types to put all my eggs in one basket and expect too much from one film, I would be disappointed if the film and my characters don’t get a favorable response.
Did the role of a righteous cop affect you as a human being?
As an actor one tends to use a lot of your personality in a character. One tries to project his/her honesty and integrity into a character’s as much as you try and imbibe from it.
It sometimes happens that you put in your personality and wish that the character possess them. You want the character to be honest and upright as you are. There are other times that you wish that you had some of the qualities that the character possesses. You are finally the instrument that projects the character. It’s your body, mind, and eyes. So your personality matters. It’s a mix of your personality and what you conceive about a particular role that is finally projected on screen.
The best and the worst comments you got?
People normally don’t say the worst comments straight onto one’s face, although they do prefer to be honest. But whatever they are, from my performance to my dance are very assorted talk floating around and not concrete opinions.
For the best comment, Ill tell you an incident that happened when I was shooting in Ooty. One of the dancer boys came upto me and requested some of my time when I returned to Mumbai as his mom wanted to meet me. I agreed and noticed that his eyes were moist. Upon asking him why, he said ‘My mother wants to meet you because the character you played in Darrar, was exactly like my father. She was amazed and moved by the resemblce and mannerisms, of my character in the film to her husband and wanted to meet me, so she could ask if I knew and understood her life! I met the old couple in Mumbai. Comments like that are better and far more satisfying than any award that an actor can get.
What do you prefer, Comedy or serious roles?
I want to do comedies. Its not an easy job to do in terms of the performance and timing. But serious roles are ones that I can synch into easily because of my personality image. I would love to do comedy but it has to be a director who understands making a comedy, so he can get a good performance out of me just like Puneet has done in this movie.
Any comments on the action of this film?
It’s been very well choreographed and very precise. It’s very raw, real and not been overdone, not done for the sake of it. It is executed, as the film demanded it.
How do you feel before the release of your film? Nervous, excited?
In my short career I have come to the conclusion that I wont get too excited about a film. What happens after a release dosent always go the way you think it will. The best thing is to work hard and hope for the best. Sometimes you expect results too soon after a film and are disappointed if that does not happen. I try not to get worked up about it.
After all your films and a variety of roles do you feel there’s still to explore as an actor?
Oh Yeah! I am just seven-eight films old. There is so much more to do. Once you do a particular role and form an image then you want to do something else and try and break that image. Even within the same type of roles you try variations. A cop’s role for example can be of different personalities for different films. There is always so much to do.
Your forthcoming films?
There’s Wajeh which is a Sab Tv film and directed by Gautum Adhikari, There’s Tajmahal, Aliba aur Chalees Chor and Hulchul which is a Priyadarshan film.
Tell us about your role, in Garv.