Arshad Warsi: Maria has allowed me to kiss in Dedh Ishqiya!

The man we all know and love as ‘Circuit’ talks about three interesting movies he is part of releasing this year, doing a bold scene with Minissha Lamba in Zila Ghaziabad, getting his wife Maria’s permission to kiss in Dedh Ishqiya (yes, you read it right!), Munnabhai Chale Amrika and much more…

Being funny is Arshad Warsi’s primary mode of existence; he is a natural at it. Happily married and thrilled to be a father twice over, his happy-go-lucky behaviour during every interaction lulls us into believing that he’s the coolest guy in show business. The theatrical trailer of Jolly LLB is gratifying enough to proclaim that Arshad is very much a part of Bollywood. “Thank you for not forgetting me!” says Warsi gleefully. The man who seemed out of place for some time is now once again greatly sought after. Enjoying his long overdue stint in the limelight, Arshad has every reason to feel on top of the world….

Shahrukh Khan was offered your role in Jolly LLB. Do you think the King Khan could’ve done a better job than you did?

Honestly speaking, I think Shahrukh is capable of doing justice to any role.

Most of your roles have been in multi-starrer films. With Jolly LLB, do you feel that there are now roles being written with you specifically in mind, like the tailormade Circuit from Munnabhai?

I don’t think so. Lots of people say this to me, but I don’t believe them. Every time a writer or director tells me, ‘Yeh role maine aap ke liye likha hai,’ I don’t know how to react. I prefer doing multi-starrers because I don’t think people will come and watch my solo hero films, and there would be no meaning in doing them.

Post Ishqiya and Golmaal 3 do you think you somewhere got lost with films like F.A.L.T.U, Double Dhamaal and Ajab Gazabb Love which didn’t really get the best from you?

I did F.A.L.T.U and Ajab Gazab… only because I am fond of Vashu and Jacky Bhagnani. Time is irrelevant in my profession. We all know that one Friday can change people’s attitude towards you. So why worry so much?

You must be banking a lot on Zila Ghaziabad considering you play a baddie for the first time. Was this a stopgap measure, different from the monotonous comedy roles?

I have stopped banking on or having any pre-conceived notions about any of my projects. I accept a film purely if I find the script interesting, irrespective of what role I am being offered, but I must say that the thought of playing a villain for the first time did excite me.

Zila Ghaziabad was in the news for your bold act with co-star Minissha Lamba (a photograph showed your hand on Minissha’s breast!). Was that just a publicity stunt or actually part of the film?

When an actor’s photograph from a film is printed by the production house, it is for publicity. As for the scene – yes, it was much required. It shows the unconventional relationship Minissha and my character have in the film. We haven’t kissed in the film, but it will make the audience sweat, for sure!

Post Ishqiya, you admitted that your wife Maria Goretti was very upset with the kiss scene with Vidya Balan. You said then: ‘In future, if a director guarantees a blockbuster with a kissing scene, then I’ll try my best to convince Maria again.’ What if the script of Dedh Ishqiya demands a kiss?

Well, yes, there is a kiss scene in Dedh Ishqiya and Maria has allowed me to do it (grins). That does not mean she approves of it, it just means she understands how much I love my job (laughs).

You must be really excited to start shooting – you have Madhuri Dixit as your co-star, besides Naseeruddin Shah…

Oh yeah…. I have admired Madhuri from the moment I laid my eyes on her. She is stunning and has the brains and talent to match her looks. With Naseer sahab and Madhuri Dixit, I am going to have problems concentrating on my role!

Do you ever feel that filmmakers have failed to tap your true potential as an actor? Does it hurt?

Yes, I do feel that and yes, it hurts too, but then they also have their limitations; they need saleable actors to sell and finance their films.

You opted out of Rajkumar Hirani’s P.K. to be a part of Dedh Ishqiya. Is Raju upset with you?

Raju and I go back a long way. He is way too evolved to get upset about such things, because he knows they happen all the time and with all the actors. Sometimes it’s just not in your control and Raju understands this. I really wish I could do P.K. But I believe everything happens for the best and I am sure there will be more opportunities.

You were hoping that after 3 Idiots, Raju would complete the script of Munnabhai Chale Amrika and start shooting for it. Why is that taking so long?

Honestly speaking, I was not hoping for it, because I believe things happen when they are supposed to. As far as Munnabhai Chale Amrika is concerned, the plan is to start the film by the end of 2013. But I feel Raju is the best person to answer that question.