From Sehar’s honest cop Ajay Kumar to Munna Bhai’s loyal sidekick Circuit or the eponymous Jolly in Jolly LLB, Arshad Warsi has found his way into our hearts with memorable characters in innumerable films. The actor, who was last seen in web show Asur, is collaborating with Akshay Kumar after a gap of 20 years. The duo worked together in Jaani Dushman (2002). The actor, however, would want to count Bachchhan Paanday as his first project with Kumar. “It was a different cinema, it is another story. I would want to think that I have not worked with him before and this is my first time,” he says about the film about ‘ichhadhari naags and naagins’. Arshad also worked in Akshay’s production, Durgamati (2020).
About working with Akshay, Arshad said, “I really like him. I knew of him as a person and actor. I had heard so much about him, but it was always from other people. When you meet him in person and interact with him, that’s when you know that he is really that person. He is really a nice chap, a good person with a pure heart, that’s very important. Maybe, that is one of the reasons that guys like him just go on and on doing good work, they don’t fade out. Everybody wants to cast him, as he is so good to work with, a through professional and a good human being.”
Arshad then emphasised on how important it is for him to know who is the lead actor of the film. “I did Munna Bhai because it was Sanju (Sanjay Dutt), otherwise even Raju (filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani) knows that it is it is a stupid role. It really is on paper, it was nothing. Even Makrand Deshpande had said no to Circuit!”
So what are the factors that he keeps in mind when he is offered a script? He says, “My listen to any script purely as an audience member. Would I want to see what I am doing? It can be any genre, it could be anything, but it should be something the audience would like to watch. After listening to the story, it is your gut feeling that tells you if you want to do that film or not.”
When asked if he has not been offered films to showcase his true potential, he said, “There is a luck factor involved too. There is no reason, everybody has their own personality. Everybody has their own path and they go by it. I am someone who takes my time, I am slow and but now I am getting better. My way of life, my way of thinking and my approach towards works is not the optimum way to be in the film industry. To be a lead actor, there is a need for a certain mindset, drive and aggression, and I don’t have that.”
While Akshay is the lead actor of Bachchhan Paanday, the audience is still quite excited to see Arshad’s comic timing in the film. So how does that make him feel, after doing comedy in most of his film. He says, “It feels great, but my problem is that I am a bit lazy, I don’t do too much work. I need to do more.”