Popular actor Arshad Warsi is known for impeccable comic trimmings. Not only does he tickle your funny bones, but he is also a singer, choreographer and a host. Its been over a decade since he made his acting debut in with Tere Mere Sapne but rose to fame with his role as Circuit in Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. and its sequel Lage Raho Munna Bhai. Arshad was part of several commercially successful comedy films like Salaam Namaste, Golmaal: Fun Unlimited, Dhamaal, Krazzy 4, Golmaal Returns, Ishqiya, Golmaal 3 F.A.L.T.U, Double Dhamaal, Jolly LLB, Golmaal Again and Total Dhamaal and many more.
Apart from being a prolific comic actor, Arshad has set new records by portraying serious and intense role on the web. His latest film Durgamti is streaming on Amazon Prime Videos. The film is a remake of Telugu-Tamil bilingual film Bhaagamathie.
In an exclusive conversation with IBTimes, Arshad Warsi spoke at length about his role in the film Durgamati, on being typecast as a comic actor, why OTT is a boon for filmmaker, actors and writers. Working with Bhumi Pedenekar and more.
Excerpts from the interview:
Have you seen the original film? How similar or different is your character?
I have seen the original film, and it keeps you on edge. I am sure that people will love Durgamati as well. My character in Durgamati is pretty much like the original. Having said that in Durgamati, my body language is different, the dialogue delivery style is not similar to the original. Rest everything is similar.
You are known for comedy films, and ever since you stepped in the web we see you in the serious avatar. Was this a conscious decision?
No, it wasn't a conscious decision. My brain is so small there is no room for improvement (laughs). I have done very few serious roles, and people have appreciated those. So, I am glad that I am being offered serious films. A lot of movies are also offering incredibly excellent content. It has taken a little time for me but better late than never (smiles).
How is Bhumi Pednekar as a co-star to work with, any off-screen trivia that you can share?
The fact that she doesn't give up, she keeps going on and going. I often kept telling her you are like the female version of Aamir Khan.
OTT has been a blessing for many actors, writers and directors, especially the ones who didn't get their due in films? Do you agree?
It's true; OTT has been a boon for actors, writers, especially for the ones who like to take the risk. So many excellent writers and actors come out. Actors whose profile didn't fit in regular commercial cinema they have got a chance to showcase their skills on OTT. I am pretty much typecast in films for comedy, and OTT has taken a chance and given me an incredible platform to do a serious role. Actors who haven't got their chance to prove themselves in cinema have got a chance in OTT.
Do Social media trolls bother you?
It's not a nice thing, to hurt other peoples feeling and yes, it bothers me a little, but I can't be dwelling on it. Something like this can't affect my life; therefore, I am not active on social media. It's all about what we want to see and what we want to avoid. Many people have nothing to do but talk bad about other people.
How open are you to watch films in theatres?
I am pretty much fine and okay. If you take the right precautions, COVID is a controllable pandemic, virus. There are very few things you need to do to control the virus. Maintain hygiene, social distancing, wear a mask, And when the theatres open full-fledge should people will start going to the cinema halls. What I feel is you should be responsible for yourself. How much can government and doctors do, the population of our country is vast, and it's our responsibility to take care of each other.
Off late we have been seeing a lot of actors contacting the virus while they have resumed shoot? What precautions are you taking?
Well, I have been ok. I should also say I have been cautious. I stopped working; we all were not working due to the lockdown. The only I took up was a show that I hosted with Boman Irani. We did that and other than that, I have been at home, and I am careful. All of us are tested before we start but still on the set we never know who walks in and out, so that's risky.
What are your forthcoming shows/ film?
I don't plan anything as we are in a profession that you can't make any plans. So I do look for next job. My next project is Bacchan Pandey with Akshay Kumar, Kriti Sanon and Jacqueline Fernandez and I am looking forward to that. Post that I have Asur season 2 so till mid next year I will be busy.