Why did you choose to do a Phata Poster when comedies kind of triggered you on the wrong side of things previously in your career?
I haven’t actually done a comedy in that sense. Chup Chup Ke was a different kind of a genre, it had me in a different character and I was still learning how to make better choices. You will be surprised knowing how many people told me that they liked me in the film. I don’t like myself in the film. I don’t think I was good in that film. (Smiles) But I am fortunate to have worked with Raj ji and I love comedies. A lot of people asked me to do something like a Phata Poster post the hosting stint I had in most of the award functions. And there were so many people telling me that what you are doing on the stage is what we want to see you doing in a movie. So I got a lot of people telling me that ki tu jaisa karta hai stage pe, real life mein itna masti karta hai, toh filmon mein kyun nahi karta. In fact it’s because people wanted to see me in a genre like this that I said yes to Phata Poster.
Comedy is considered the most difficult genre today because of the natural spontaneity that it demands from any artist. Do you feel the same as well?
I had the most funny, as in the funniest guy around to help me with it, Mr Raj Santoshi! He has the funniest expressions and you would not believe how he will explain each and every scene to you with so much of expressions. I am just so lucky to have him guide me in this film and I have pretty much followed what he asked me to do and I had a gala time. I gave out expressions which I don’t think I have ever given in the past. All thanks to him! Comedy is difficult when you try and get too serious about it. I feel if you are there enjoying yourselves, the audience will automatically enjoy and laugh!
What is more important for you as an actor: Doing a good film or doing a 100 crore film today?
In today’s generation, all of us are trying to break it free. I feel audiences are ready for all kinds of films today. That is a major plus. There is an audience for a Kahaani, an audience for a Singham, for Chennai Express, for a Barfi!. So yes, today all films are accepted equally well. And as an actor, it is very important to recognize that. You cannot be running after anything blindly. I think you should not run after box office so blindly and at the same time, you cannot disrespect the fact that a film that makes this much amount of money is not relevant. You cannot write off films saying, ‘arre yaar yeh toh aisi picture hai’. If the audience loves something, then we have to accept that it is something that people want to see. It is important to draw the right balance. I will always try to do films that will turn out as big box office churners and do films that will help me evolve as an actor. I feel an importance in both.
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