How difficult was it to juggle between a gangster and a lover boy in Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story?
It was challenging and exciting. Vinnil Markan, debut Director of Jayantabhai, really helped me out. He was not just sincere, but when it came to directing he reminded me of Shaad Ali who made Saathiya. Vinnil has made sure that the audience connects with the characters in the film.
“I still haven’t grown up and am like a kid with kids. When I am around them, I am more childish and less responsible than the kids themselves. So I definitely cannot be a strict father”
Did playing a gangster in Shootout at Lokhandwala help you prepare for Jayantabhai?
Yes, it did. The difficult part of Jayantabhai’s role was to keep the gangster element alive within a vulnerable and yet charming guy. A gangster tends to be powerful, cold, manipulative and aggressive, but this is not the case with Jayantabhai. You’ll find him honest, good-hearted and emotional.
There were reports that you lived in a chawl while shooting for Jayantabhai...
This incident took place long ago. I had booked a small room during the shoot of Company. For Jayantabhai, we tried to introduce new vocabulary used by gangsters. I invited all the local gangsters I had met while shooting for Company and Shootout for lunch and asked them to help me out with new gangster lingo. I shared what I learnt with writer Kiran Kotrial and Vinnil. It was fun meeting the gang after a long time and they did help me out big time.
You shot a sensuous song with Neha. Any awkwardness you felt now that you are married?
No, the shoot wasn’t awkward at all. We really got along. In fact, I always go out of my way to make my co-stars feel comfortable. While filming the song, I told Vinnil that I might mess around, spoil my lines and play it silly in my first two takes, while my third would be the actual one. I used to tell Neha, ‘Sorry I messed up my lines’ and it did help her ease up. So if she went wrong, she didn’t feel bad about spoiling her own shot. This helped us a lot while shooting the romantic number.
Do you take risks or play safe when it comes to signing films?
I am already taking risks. I have done Jayantabhai... which is a cute love story, after which I am doing Zilla Ghaziabad — a totally different genre. I’ll be also doing Grand Masti, a comedy. It’s the story of three naughty boys having extramarital affairs. And in Krrish 3, I play a dark, evil, twisted super villain.
Congratulations to you and Priyanka on Junior Oberoi! How does it feel like to be a dad? Will you be a strict dad?
Thanks. I am on cloud nine and can’t express my happiness in words... But it feels great. I don’t think I can ever be a strict dad. I still haven’t grown up and am like a kid with kids! When I am around them, I am more childish and less responsible than the kids themselves. So I definitely cannot be a strict father!