Arshad Warsi says he is currently at peace with who he is and how he is going in life. The actor whose Irada has just hit the theatres is also looking forward to start shooting for two big films — Golmaal 4 and Munna Bhai 3. Popular for films like Jolly LLB, Ishqiya, Dhamaal, and Krazzy 4 among others, Arshad had debuted in Hindi cinema with 1996 film Tere Mere Sapne.
Talking to InUth in Delhi, Arshad opened up on family, success, struggle and living a baggage-free life. Excerpts:
I heard you saying that somebody told you not to promote your films because it takes away the essence. Is it so? Don’t you enjoy film promotions?
Honestly, I don’t. If you give me a choice between staying at home and playing with my kids and promoting a film, I’ll say I want to stay at home.
But, this is the only time you get to interact with audience?
I am not really interacting with the audience, and for that, I will do a general interview. Like, I’ll generally come and talk to you without promoting a film. I tell you about the part that I enjoy. It is that I suddenly get to meet the entire bunch of press fraternity in one shot and interact with all of them, which I really do like. You meet wonderful people. If you ask me — will talking to the camera and telling everybody that it’s a great film make me comfortable? No. The fact is that they decide if they want to see the film. Once the promos are out and they see the trailer, audiences have that sixth sense and somewhere we all do, where something tells us that whether it is a good film or a bad film. Something does. It’s hard to pin point. Sometime in our hearts when we look at the trailer, we know that it’s just a good promo but the film is going to be crap.
After doing enough amount of cinema, what kind of work actually excites you now?
I am fine with everything. I totally enjoy doing Golmaal. I enjoy doing everything that I do. I have a good time working. Work doesn’t bother me. That doesn’t scare me. It’s like I don’t feel that I have ever worked in my life. I enjoy everyday what I do. What excites me is a good script, a good director and a good producer coming together and making something which I want to be a part of. I have never ever looked at the script saying that my role is good, I will do the film irrespective of whether the script is good or not. My role is the last thing I care about. It doesn’t bother me what role I have as long as the film is good. Like, at the moment, I did Irada, I enjoyed it. I know after this, I am going to go on the sets of Golmaal 4 and I am going to enjoy it. It will be a crazy space with whole lot of actors.
As an actor and as a human being, does Arshad Warsi consider himself successful?
Personally, I would say that I am a successful man. As an actor, I think I am a successful actor. I think I am a very well respected actor. I am pretty good at my job and I know my job. And it’s a damn good thing, because to know your job is the most important thing. When you know your job, you’ll always get work.
And that confidence truly shows.
Thank you. When you don’t know your job is where the problem lies. Sooner or later, people will realise that there are the factors helping you to look or to do what you are doing. And it’s not you. That becomes a problem. As a person and as a family, I am very happy. I have got a beautiful wife and lovely kids. I lead a very comfortable life. And for me that is success. For me, having a jet plane, a private plane or a big mansion is not a success because exterior success if of no value. You should be at a right place with right mind.
You just mentioned family. And I won’t talk about the struggle statement that you made (in an interview recently). I’ll talk about that part where you mentioned how Maria (Arshad’s wife) was really supportive throughout that phase. When you go through such a phase, how important becomes the support of family?
Very very. As I said, because I knew that Maria had a job and because I knew that the bills were being paid, I had that liberty to say no to xyz. I had the liberty of not giving up.
What about the emotional support that you get? And that’s the only time when you realise who your friends are.
I think I am surrounded with very nice people. My friends are the ones who are my friends before I became an actor. Honestly, I have never dramatised. For me, it’s nothing. Hundreds of people go through such times. What is important is the support of being together. So if Maria needed me, I have always been there. And if I needed her, she was there.
You have done so many films and in most of the characters that you’ve played, humour comes very subtly. Even you play a main lead, like in Jolly LLB, you don’t play a hero. You are a hero, but you’re not a hero. And that’s very nice because there’s no baggage of stardom with an actor that shows.
I tell you how it is. For me, acting and special effects are the same. If I can see special effects, it’s bad special effects and if I can see acting, it’s bad acting. That’s how simple it is. The fact that when you are an actor and you’re on camera, may be for the first two scenes, the audience will say, ‘ok that’s Arshad Warsi.’ And after that, you’ll say, ‘oh that’s Jolly.’ It is very hard to achieve that. I know actors who work very hard to achieve that. One of the persons I can mention is Aamir Khan. He works very hard to get into the skin of character. Yes, it’s a very difficult thing to do. For that, the level of honesty in your work is something else. I work very hard to make people forget who I am. When I am at work and you see me, you’ll only see the character and you’ll not see Arshad Warsi.
Who is Arshad Warsi now and where is he going?
I am a nice and happy, content man who is destroying everybody’s interview by cracking up but not yours (laughs). I am fine. I am doing good. I want to direct a film which I will soon, someday. I am heading that way.
When you play a comic character or do comedy on screen, usually audience expect you to be like that in real life as well. But you cannot be like that all the time. How do juggle between these expectations and your real self?
No. I don’t do behave like the jolly self I am in my films in front of people. When I play a role, I am that character. I don’t care whether that character is the guy who cries throughout the film. I will cry throughout the film. Personally, I think I have a sense of humour, which inherently, I can’t take away. When I am talking and somebody says something which leads to humour, it just comes out. I can’t help it. It’s not me who’s funny, it’s the person in front of me who’s funny actually, because they are getting this out of me. I am a regular, normal chap who’s working. I am not the guy you see in movies. I am a different person who has sense of humour.