After spending a decade in the industry as a leading man, Aftab Shivdasani is now being seen as a cop in Bin Bulaye Baarati. Though he has played one in Footpath many moons ago, this film is different since it is an out and out comedy. Joginder Tuteja catches up with the Mast man and asks him how he feels about getting back on the big screen after a year long hiatus.
So after Salman Khan in Dabangg, there is Aftab Shivdasani playing a cop in Bin Bulaye Baaraati. Seems like this is one cop film with a difference?
Ok, let me settle this misconception. First of all, I am not playing a cop in the film. I am basically playing a wannabe cop. I along with Rajpal Yadav, Sanjay Mishra and Vijay Raaz are actually crooks who are dressed up as cops. We enter a village and people there mistake us for being cops. So you know, Bin Bulaye Baarati is actually a hardcore masala entertaining comedy; it is not really a cop drama at all.
In this entire comedy, where does it leave the leading lady Priyanka Kothari?
Well, comedy is primarily between us four men out there. Priyanka doesn’t really have a comedy track per se; she is basically my love interest.
In fact both of you were launched by Ram Gopal Varma in Mast and James respectively. So were there any common notes exchanged?
No, not at all. There were no notes exchanged. In fact all our conversations were around the diet. I used to look upon her when it comes to eating habits; I really admire the way she keeps herself fit while resisting all the temptation to eat.
I really admire the way Priyanka keeps herself fit while resisting all the temptation to eat.
So no Ramu talk at all?
We both have mutual respect for Ramu but no, we didn’t mention him even once.
The film looks like an out and out entertainer though where one can leave one’s brains behind. Is that really the case?
Yeah, please don’t bring your brains for this film. If you do, chances are you won’t understand the film (winks).
The film was originally supposed to release in July. What led to it being pre-poned? I guess it is quite rare to see a movie arriving earlier than planned. Otherwise the trend is for films to get delayed.
Guess God wanted us to arrive early (laughs). But yes, this has happened for the first time in my career as well that a film of mine is arriving earlier than later. I guess this is one of the fastest films ever made. How many times have you heard about a film starting on 14th February and releasing on 17th June?
The film has a horde of seasoned comedians. Ever felt that they may be a little over powering?
See, everyone just fitted in so beautifully into the film that no one was stepping on other person’s shoes. No one was trying to hog the limelight. We were united in making the film work.
Aftab, 2009 was a pretty eventful year for you where you had as many as four releases in Aloo Chaat, Daddy Cool, Acid Factory & Aao Wish Karein with a special appearance in Kambakkht Ishq. What made you go so slow last year?
I just decided to go away from Mumbai and spend some time with myself. I just wanted to chill out and not really work. It was a very conscious effort and I wanted to pick up only those films which really excited me.
I just decided to go away from Mumbai and spend some time with myself
So where did you go?
I went to UK, USA, Thailand, Hong Kong, Dharamshala etc. These were some of the most special trips of my life as I just travelled alone. These were my leisure and pleasure trips. I discovered a lot of things and most importantly I spent time with myself.
Meanwhile you had also produced Aao Wish Karein which, despite its decent merits, didn’t do well. Do you think it was the marketing that went wrong?
Absolutely right. I feel that it failed due to marketing. While making it, we had 100% conviction in it but guess those who bought it didn’t see a similar potential that I saw. This is where we lost. Of course there was heart burn involved when it saw a bad release and response. But then to be honest with you, once a product is dead, there is nothing that you can fight about. It just leads to bad mouthing and I don’t want that.
So are you looking at resuming your production plans?
Yes, I would most definitely get back to production again. But it won’t be at the moment, it would have to wait.