Arshad Warsi tells Jyothi Venkatesh that Vidya Balan is not only the heroine of Ishqiya but also the hero and the villain while Naseer bhai and he are like the sidekicks Jai and Veeru.
Is it true that you were very nervous when Abhishek Chaubey, the director of Ishqiya asked you to do a mouth to mouth kiss with Vidya Balan for a crucial scene in the film?
I tried my level best to wriggle out of the smooching scene but could not when Abhishek convinced me how vital the scene was as far as the script was concerned. In fact, it is my first ever kiss on screen and it was with great difficulty that I managed to convince my wife Maria.
How will you describe your role in Ishqiya?
I have been cast in Ishqiya along with Naseeruddin Shah and Vidya Balan. It is the story which spans two generations. If one is calm, the other is aggressive. I play the role of Babban; a small time tapori.It was not at all tough to play the role. It is just the question of how the plot takes off and how you figure out a few things about the script after trying to understand it thoroughly.
How was your experience of working with Vidya Balan?
Vidya had become a very good friend of mine after we worked together in Lage Raho Munnabhai. Vidya laughs a lot on the face. In fact, Naseerbhai and I used to wait till she finished laughing on the sets. Vidya is not only a good actor but also a good person and it is a good combo. As far as Ishqiya is concerned, I’d state that Vidya is not only the heroine of the film, but also the hero as well as the villain and Naseerbhai and I are just Jai and Veeru.
Why do you accept very few films as an actor?
The trouble with me is that I do not like 90% of the scripts that I hear and at this rate I am afraid I would very soon be out of job. I do not sign far too many films because Maria had whacked me when I was away for nine months continuously on my various shoots, thus neglecting her and our kids Zeek and Zara.
Why did you accept the offer to act in Ishqiya for a new director like Abhishek Chaubey?
The reason I readily agreed to do Ishqiya is that I liked Abhishek’s sensibility. The industry has a tendency to typecast people. I hope Abhishek isn’t typed with movies like Ishqia in future. It does not matter at all, whether the director is new or a war horse, because I am of the opinion that it is the brain that matters the most.
How did you prepare for your part?
I would not bluff that I stayed in a house of some local in Bhopal a week before the actual shooting began to get into the skin of my character. I know Hindi and there was no need for me to learn the language as if it is Russian and hence it was not tough for me to twist and use a twang language and set out to speak in a peculiar dialect which my character needed per se.
How tough was it for you to match histrionics with Naseeruddin Shah in Ishqiya?
It was tough for me as an actor to abuse Naseeruddin Shah, whom I revere as an actor, in a scene. I had to also hit him in some scenes and that proved to be a bit of a problem but Naseerbhai was such a sport that he actually goaded me to do the scene perfectly that I ended up giving a natural shot.
What is your approach to acting?
I confess that though I have spent thirteen years in the film industry ever since I had made my debut with Tere Mere Sapne, it is only in the last two years that I actually started feeling that I can act. The best about me now is that though I see other actors getting hassled with their lines and scenes; I feel that acting is like a piece of cake. I am not here in the industry to prove to any one that I can act. I am waiting for something nice to come up. A good script is what I care for. I do not care even if I do a bad job, because I want my films to work.
What has been the biggest compliment that you have received as an actor till date?
I remember that while I was shooting for Tere Mere Sapne, Jayaji had paid me a big compliment by telling me that I was like Al Pacino and hence I should do a film like Scar Face.
Is it true that you are actually jobless now?
I call myself as the laziest actor on the earth and as of now, as an actor, I am jobless. I have completed my first film as a producer, with Kabir Kaushik as the director. The name of the film is Hum Tum Aur Ghost. I am waiting for the sequels to Dhammal, Golmaal and Munnabhai to happen. Now that I have on hand experience as a producer, I am also inclined to take up direction, which I feel is a piece of cake. Mel Gibson, Aamir Khan, Ajay Devgn and Sunny Deol etc also have directed films themselves and I do not think it is a big deal. I have written a few scripts and am waiting for the right time to plunge into direction.
Do you detest being typed as a comic actor?
I have absolutely no regret about having been slotted as a comic actor, though I am capable of doing serious roles too. Had I not worked in a comedy like Tere Mere Sapne, I’d not have been offered comic roles. If Tere Mere Sapne had not run, I’d not have been typed as a comic actor. In any case, very few actors are able to do comedy and it is a fact that I have seen many actors trying to do comedy though very few current generation actors succeed, like Akshay Kumar and Ritesh who are hilarious.
Why did your wife Maria quit acting?
It is very tough to be the wife of an actor and my wife Maria had to take a backseat even though she is a good actress. Because it was a deal between us when we got married that one of us had to quit to look after the kids and the onus fell automatically on Maria, for the simple reason that I cannot breast feed my kids and the kids need the mother.
Do you think your children will follow in the footsteps of Maria and you and take up acting eventually?
My daughter Zene has the fire in her and may take up acting but our son Zeek, who actually thought that I was playing football for a living, when he saw me shoot for Goal, is very docile. However, you never know since my kids are exposed to this profession, they may be inclined to take up acting.
– Sampurn Media