Arshad Warsi is well known as the popular character ‘Circuit’ from the successful Munnabhai series of films and is also known for his recent National Award winning film Jolly LLB. His next release is the zany comedy ‘The Legend of Michael Mishra’. He had a freewheeling chat with us at the press meet of the film. Here is what he told us
Are you disappointed that the release of the film was delayed for quite a while?
A little but the final copy of the film is absolutely fresh and doesn’t look dated and I am sure the audiences will love the film as it’s a full throttle comedy never seen before in Hindi films. The humor is different and is almost a satire with a lot of black comedy in it. But I am happy that the film is being released now as it is one of my best films yet.
What is your character in the film?
I play a funny gangster from Patna, who is a very different gangster in the sense that he is a very casual guy, dresses casually and has his own style of speaking English in a funny way and is smitten with an aspiring actress called Varsha Shukla played by Aditi Rao Hydari and is ready to do anything for her including turning over a new leaf for her. It’s a very interesting character and I enjoyed playing this character.
You played a very urbane character in Jolly LLB and now you are playing a gangster character. Is it very difficult for you to switch roles?
Not really, Because my forte is that I can enter into the skin of any character immediately and without any trace of any other previous character I was shooting for. I don’t have much of method acting in me as I am a very spontaneous actor and I can adapt to any character I am shooting for but after the success of Jolly LLB, I have been dumped from the sequel (Laughs uproariously).
How was it like working on the film?
We had a great team of Aditi Rao Hydari, Boman Irani and his son Kayroz Irani and director Manish Jha and we had a whale of a time shooting in Patna among the locals and Boman is a hilarious guy as is his son Kayroz and we used to have a lot of funny talk between shots and Aditi is a nice sweet girl and since I had already worked with her in Guddu Rangeela, there was a lot of comfort level between us and when we had these workshops, it really helped me to interact with Aditi and she has done a fabulous job in the film and I hope she is appreciated for it. The director Manish Jha is a zany, totally freaked out guy bit very good in his work and he has made wonderful films like ‘Matrubhoomi’ and ‘Anwar’ and I am sure he will achieve more in the future.
You have not produced a film for a long time.
I wish I could. But the industry is going through a bad time and only a few corporate and the three Khans are ruling the roost and every other film fails to break even and even with a star like Salman Khan, it doesn’t work always as evident from the flopping of his film ‘Kick’, but I admire Salman because he pushes the envelope and does different things everytime like he didn’t have a single fight scene like in Bajrangi Bhaijaan and he had only a kaccha worn tight in ‘Sultan’ and they both worked big time and that’s true stardom. But I have a few scripts which I am contemplating to work with and I might announce a few projects soon.
You are an international dance winner and a choreographer but your dancing talent has not been really exploited on screen? Why so?
I agree. But it’s upto the directors and producers to visualize song and dances for me. I can’t order them to create such sequences for me in heir films. It’s their prerogative and though I can jump and roll and do funny dance things (laughs) I am waiting for a good dance based film to come to me. You might not be aware that I was a choreographer too and I had choreographed the title sequence of Boney Kapoor’s ‘Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja’.
So when is Circuit coming back on the big screen?
Now since Sanjay Dutt is back, you might hear from Rajkumar Hirani about the Munnabhai franchise but I don’t think it will be very soon. Actually the character of Circuit fell in my lap as I liked Raju Hirani very much as a person and at that time even Makarand Deshpande declined to do the role as he was just a side kick standing behind Munna and mouthing a few lines, but surprisingly the audience liked my character and I almost became internationally famous and everyone started calling me after the name of my character.
You started with Kabir Khan in ‘Kabul Express’ and now he is a big name but you haven’t worked with him after that?
Kabir is a very good friend of mine and our families are very close and his children and my children often meet but it’s the director’s choice to cast actors according to his script and I can’t coerce him to cast me in any film but I am sure he will call me when he finds a character which would suit me.
What do you think of dance reality shows that are shown on TV channels?
I don’t like them if it’s a children reality show because it is very sad to see these children, all decked up and dancing at their best but if it’s an adult dance reality show, I am okay with it and I have been a judge on some of these dance reality shows.
Your film with Amitabh Bachchan ‘Zamaanat’ is delayed.
Unfortunately the producer S.Ramanathan has passed away and I don’t think the film will find a release.