Arshad Warsi: I will not do sex comedies!

The Jolly LLB actor talks about his love for intelligent comedy and how he came up with the title of his new film, Mr. Joe B Carvalho

The funny man says that he is open to doing all kind of roles, but audiences are not ready to accept him in anything other than comedy. Read on to know more…

We have heard that your new movie was titled by you. How did the name Mr Joe B Carvalho come up?

During the holidays I often visit Goa with my family and there, beside our cottage, stays a Mr Carvalho. So one day, after many years, I jokingly asked someone whether his full name was Kuch Bhi Carvalho or Jo Bhi Carvalho. I was just asking out of fun, but what I came to know was that his actual name was Mr Joe Carvalho. So that struck me and I found the name funny enough and got it registered. Now when we got this script, I suddenly recalled this incident and I put out the suggestion that the character could be named Mr Joe B Carvalho. Everyone liked the suggestion and it turned out to be the name of the film.

You said some time ago that you want to do intelligent comedy and not crass ones…

Yeah, that’s true. I cannot do crass comedies. I am not comfortable doing them. Somewhere down the line my kids would see those movies and I might feel embarrassed at that point of time. It’s a complete ‘No’ for sex comedies, unless I am desperate for work. But still, then I guess I wouldn’t.

Talking about being desperate, the title of this movie means that you are ready to do anything. Does that happen in your real life too?

My means and desires are not too much and I don’t have much greed. I would roam around in the same car till the car dies. So the show-off part is less in me and that lets me stay grounded. So desperation doesn’t come that easily to me.

We hear that you tried to ghost direct this film…

I have not ghost directed any of my films, but I do give my inputs. I want that the director and I should be on the same page. It has been the case in the past that directors came to me with some script and I used to just listen to the story and create a movie in my head, but when after the shoot the real movie did not match up to the movie in my mind, then I used to feel bad. Thus nowadays I prefer to ask the director for a more descriptive script narration for at least the first two scenes. And yes, the director was new and he wanted to use my experience in work and so I used to give him some tips – nothing like I ghost directed the film. I have been told by many that I would make a good writer, as I improvise very well. Thus it’s the director’s lookout whether he wants to tap that potential of mine or not. New directors at times do tend to take my improvisational skills into the script and add more value to the final product. That’s all.

You have come up with a solo hero film after a long time. Are you afraid that audiences won’t like you as the solo lead?

Before Jolly LLB I was doing only two-hero films. No, I am hardly affected by how the movie works. I try to put my cent percent in the film and that’s all that I look for. I was the same guy before and after Jolly LLB became a hit. I don’t tend to throw parties and all to celebrate my success. So I have done solo films before, but I was not getting that good a script to do more, so I was staying away. Now I am getting some, so I am doing them again.

You have been doing comedies for a long time. Don’t you think you have been typecast?

I would love to experiment with different roles. But that’s the way it works in the industry. Had I done my first film as a serious film, I would be getting only serious roles. I have still done Seher, Zilla Ghaziabad kind of films, where I don’t have comedy at all. But it seems that the audiences never connected with me in those roles.