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A Chat With Johnny

Friday, August 08, 2014

Often called the king of comedy, veteran comedian Johnny Lever has acted in more than 400 films. The 46-year-old actor-comedian will soon be seen in the Akshay Kumar starrer Entertainment. Rohit Pramar talk to him about the film, his character and more...

Tell us about your role in Entertainment.
I play a lawyer who is supposed to protect a dog’s rights after his owner passes away. The dog’s owner has willed his entire property to the dog and I am in-charge of the process, so everyone needs to come to me. The film is a bit serious, as well as comical. For me, it was a totally different experience as this was the first time that I was shooting with a dog. The character is different from the ones that I have played earlier.

What was it like shooting with a dog?
It was scary as well as thrilling. I am not used to being around dogs, while in the film, my character is supposed to be really fond of them. So, I was scared that I would offend the dog or step on his tail by mistake! But luckily for me, everything went just fine.

Is the dog hero of the film?
Definitely! He is no ordinary dog. Even when we were shooting, everything depended on him. If he wasn’t in the mood, we would have to stop shooting and wait. He even had an air-conditioned van all to himself! So, you can imagine how well we treated him on the sets.

You have acted with Akshay Kumar in several fims. What is he like as a person?
He is a gentleman and is very disciplined. He goes to sleep by 10pm and wakes up by 5am. He doesn’t drink or smoke and is very regimental about his health. Being around him makes you admire this level of dedication.

Your daughter is also getting into comedy...
Yes, her name is Jamie. She recently started performing with Comedy Circus and I keep hearing good things about her. Some people have even told me that she has overtaken me. It feels nice to hear such things. She is a gifted child.

Do you think that the film industry has changed?
The only thing that is permanent is change, and if one doesn’t change with time, then it becomes difficult to survive. But, there is a limit to how much you can change. There are certain things that I have learnt from my seniors and those things will never change. Having said that I’ve tried my best to keep
myself updated.

What’s in store for you?
I recently finished shooting for two more films that will release soon. I am also in talks for some other roles. I’ve cut down on films; I’ve done so much work in the past that now, I want to do less work, but make sure it is all good work.

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