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Last Updated 12.07.2024 | 4:35 PM IST
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EXCLUSIVE: “My TV show ‘Chanakya’ helped me achieve recognition. Pathaan ne chaar chand laga diye aur Gadar 2 ab aake Gadar macha dega” – Manish Wadhwa

en Bollywood News EXCLUSIVE: “My TV show ‘Chanakya’ helped me achieve recognition. Pathaan ne chaar chand laga diye aur Gadar 2 ab aake Gadar macha dega” – Manish Wadhwa

The conflict and madness in Shah Rukh Khan-Deepika Padukone-John Abraham starrer Pathaan would not have been possible without Manish Wadhwa. He played the menacing Pakistani General Qadir, who hires Jim (John Abraham) to strike against India. The actioner was a blockbuster and now Manish Wadhwa will be seen in Gadar 2, again as a Pakistani General. The advance booking of the film opened recently, 12 days before release, and yet, the response was overwhelming.

EXCLUSIVE: “My TV show ‘Chanakya’ helped me achieve recognition. Pathaan ne chaar chand laga diye aur Gadar 2 ab aake Gadar macha dega” – Manish Wadhwa

In an exclusive interview with Bollywood Hungama, the veteran actor talked about his role in Gadar 2, his memories of working in Pathaan and a lot more.

The trailer of Gadar 2 has got a very positive response. How do you feel?
I am so excited. I cannot express it in words. I had seen Gadar – Ek Prem Katha (2001) when it had released. I never imagined I’ll be a part of its sequel! I got the opportunity, and I grabbed it excitedly. It’s also a big responsibility as well.

The character of Hamid Iqbal in Gadar 2 seems quite loud. Was it challenging to play such a character?
(Smiles) No. I am from a theatre background. I have done some roles in the past which were also loud. So, it’s fine. It’s part of the job. It’s all about how I want to act and what my director wants.

The film has 3 action directors – Ravi Varma, Tinnu Verma and Sham Kaushal. How interesting was it to be choreographed by these veterans?
It was quite a good experience. Ravi ji has his own style, and the same goes was Tinnu. Sham ji is anyway quite cool! They all knew their work and we followed them.

Your co-star Sunny Deol plays an angry character in Gadar 2 but in real life, he’s very gentle…
Yes, he’s also very shy. He totally gets into his role. When he comes to the set, he is usually quiet. He constantly wants to understand how to go about doing it. He guided me and at the same time, he would also ask me, ‘Iss scene ko aise karein ya waise karein?’. That works as filmmaking is team-work at the end of the day.

The iconic hand pump shot in Gadar – Ek Prem Katha (2001) was shot at La Martinière College, Lucknow. From the trailer, it seems that the sequel also has been shot at the same place…
Yes, it’s the same location where the hand pump scene in the first part was shot. It was maddening to shoot there. 10,000 people had gathered to see the shoot. Anyway, we needed people for the picturization. It made for a fun experience.

How did you bag the role in Pathaan?
I was offered the role in the lockdown. I was excited as it was a very big film. I realized that it was a small yet important role. Isme bhi ek alag mazaa tha. It ticked all the boxes – it was a big film starring Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and John Abraham. Moreover, it was backed by Yash Raj Films and that too directed by Siddharth Anand. What’s more, the makers worked well on my character. There was no reason for me to turn down the project.

You seem to be fond of Siddharth Anand as evident from your Instagram post during the release of the film…
Yes, I am. Even he likes me. He told me, ‘Aapke saath bade aasaani ke saath kaam ho jaata hai’. I replied, ‘Sir, aap kaam karwate ho. Main kuch nahin karta’! (laughs)

How was it to work with Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and John Abraham?
It was fantastic. But we were all too engrossed in our respective scenes. With John, I shot continuously for 4-5 days. With Shah Rukh Khan, my interaction was limited. He was very humble and would greet everyone lovingly on the sets.

You have done several television shows, which have been consumed by millions of viewers. But Pathaan was a different ballgame altogether. Did your life change after the release of the film?
Yes. My TV show Chanakya helped me achieve recognition. Pathaan ne chaar chand laga diye aur Gadar 2 ab aake Gadar macha dega (laughs)!

You made a headline-worthy comment about the late Amrish Puri, the antagonist in the first part, that ‘Sau actors bhi unko chhoo nahi sakte’…
Yes, I believe in it completely. If people even say that my performance is close to his performance, I would be on cloud nine!

You seem to have done a lot of period films and shows…
It happened on its own. Pathaan anyway was not a period film. I believe I am called by the makers for the role and not because it’s a period film. People do get stereotyped in the industry. Actors are often dubbed as ‘Yeh sirf mythology shows hi karta hai’ or ‘Yeh sirf period shows hi karta hai’. I thank God that I have not been similarly labelled. I have essayed roles in a variety of genres. I have done social dramas, period, mythology etc.

Interestingly, both your films this year – Pathaan and Gadar 2 – feature you as the villain and that too essaying a Pakistani General!
Yes. But the character in Pathaan is quite polished as he belongs to today’s times. The character in Gadar 2 is full desi. I have ensured that there’s a variation in my performances in Pathaan and Gadar 2. For an artist, it’s a challenge.

You also dub for Hollywood films. You have voiced the character of Bucky in Captain America films…
It’s an amazing experience and also a learning ground. It made me realize that our cinema is an audio-visual medium. Agar aapka audio accha hai, toh visual accha lagega aapko. Agar audio thoda sa gadbad ho jaata hai, achhi achhi shaklein pe bhi aap concentrate nahin kar paate. With good audio, it’ll be like ‘Isko suno yaar, maza aa raha hai’. I got that clarity first with theatre and then dubbing. Hence, I continue to dub even today. It’s a challenge to do so. You need to take into account the actor’s pause marks, his feelings and his overall performance and accordingly, you need to voice him in Hindi. Off late, I dubbed for the lead in The Lincoln Lawyer in Hindi.

What next?
Let’s see Gadar 2 se kitni Gadar machti hai! I have a few projects, but I don’t want to divulge about it right now.

If Gadar 2 emerges as a blockbuster just like Pathaan, you’d be considered a lucky charm…
(Laughs) Well, God is kind. Interestingly, both characters have one more thing in common apart from the fact that they are Pakistani generals. I can’t reveal it as it’ll be a spoiler. But it’s something to watch out for!

Also Read: Taran Adarsh reveals Anil Sharma spilled the beans about Sunny Deol’s role in Gadar 2; says, “He is there from start to finish”

More Pages: Gadar 2 Box Office Collection , Gadar 2 Movie Review


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