Govinda once ruled Hindi comedy. Forced to be away from the big screen by a series of flops, he's back and climbing the popularity charts again.

His comeback films such as Bhagam Bhag and Salam-E-Ishq have got him reasonable reviews. His latest film Partner, where he co-stars with Salman Khan, is now running in the UAE.

Here the actor-turned politician-turned actor talks of politics, his comeback and acting with Salman Khan.

Excerpts from an interview:

How are you enjoying the new phase in your acting career?

I am very excited and happy that the industry has given me a warm return to films. I know that I have been away from the limelight for the last few years. Actually my films were not working in the early 2000s and I wasn't getting any exciting offers.

So I moved into politics with the sole intention of serving the people if I can't entertain them on the big screen.
But somehow politics didn't go the way I planned. I realised that I am best in acting in movies and looked eagerly to return. I was lucky that I had some friends and wellwishers who helped me make this comeback.

Will you contest elections again?

Well I haven't decided on that and will keep my options open. But currently I am focusing on making a successful comeback by doing some good roles and acting with challenging filmmakers. Ideally I would like to see myself regain my position, where I am away from competition and yet have my own market with my films.

Were you satisfied with your comeback role in Bhagam Bhag where your co-star Akshay Kumar stole the limelight?

To be honest I absolutely did not have any market then. I was completely aware that Bhagam Bhag was being sold on Akshay Kumar's name, whose popularity has risen over the years.

My role was to be done by Suniel Shetty and he was gracious enough to offer me his part, which I felt was a meaty role. So I believe this is the best I could have got offered under the circumstances

How have you shaped up in David Dhawan's Partner?

I am very happy with my role in Partner and have enough scope for me to perform. I play the character of Bhasker Diwakar who looks to Salman Khan for help in sorting out his love life. It has loads of funny situations with lively music. David has packaged the film very well.

How do you rate Salman Khan as an actor? He once said he's frightened to act with you because of your comic talent.

Salman is a humble man and these words about me speak about his humility. He is not only a dear friend but is like a brother to me. I believe Salman is extremely talented and he is underestimated by the so-called critics.

His comic timing has improved over the years and he now performs most of his scenes effortlessly. Moreover his handsome physique with his acting style makes him a sheer delight amongst his fans. It was pure joy acting with Salman in Partner and I can't wait to do another film with him.

How was your experience acting with Katrina Kaif?

I enjoyed working with Katrina and she is a very hardworking girl with talent that needs to be nurtured. There is no question about her beauty and screen presence, which have already impressed many. I am sure she has a bright career ahead of her.

Did you know?

  • Govinda's nickname: Chi Chi/Virar Ka Chokra
  • Family: Married to Sunita. They have a son and daughter.
  • Rumour: According to the grapevine, Govinda had left his wife to move in with actress Rani Mukherjee a couple of years ago. Both rubbished it and he's still married.
  • Car accident: On January 5, 1994, Govinda was hurt badly in his head while travelling to the studio for the shooting of Khuddar. He bled severely but continued shooting after visiting a doctor.

7 of Govinda's hit films:

  • Bade Miyan Chhote Miyan
  • Pardesi Babu
  • Aunty No 1
  • Anari No 1
  • Coolie No 1
  • Hero No 1
  • Raja Babu