In an exclusive interview, the prolific actor talks about his co-stars in Jism 2, his varied roles and his thoughts on cinema today
Arif Zakaria is a name you associate with top notch performances. Give him a role and rest assured that the job will be done with the desired effect. We get talking to the actor about his choice of roles, his approach to acting and his films Jism 2, Lootera and Krrish 3. Excerpts from an interview
Why are you so choosy about your roles?
I haven’t been as choosy as you think I’ve been, except that I travelled with a Bollywood stage show called Merchants of Bollywood for five years. So I couldn’t take up any film or TV assignments between 2006 and 2010. Films are made at their own pace. You can’t control when or how they release. Sometimes I have a couple of releases following each other, and sometimes nothing. It hasn’t been that bad, you know. But we’re living in strange times. There’s so much of an influx of the media that even a six month’s gap feels like a lifetime. Y’know I had Jannat 2, and now I have Jism 2. But you can’t have a film release every six months. I’m lucky to have a release once a year. That’s the nature of the business I guess – rather than me being choosy or non-choosy. It’s just the way films are structured.
What do you think about the kind of films being made now? Would a film like Darmiyaan have been made today?
I don’t know if it would’ve been made differently, but it would’ve had a much better release. Audiences are much more tolerant to different themes and subjects. You see big-budget films like Rowdy Rathore doing well alongside a Vicky Donor. Gangs of Wasseypur does well and there’re a couple of children’s films doing well…. All kinds of films are being made these days, which means the audience is ready and hungry for more diverse subjects. They need to be entertained more often and with a lot more new subjects, themes, jokes and stories. In that sense, Darmiyaan would’ve been better off now. But then that’s the way it is. You don’t really sit back and think about these things.
Do you think actors are marketing themselves better now?
As I said earlier, there are much more media avenues now. Channels need much more info…newspapers need info all the time. So, it’s not really that the actors are marketing better. When I was in Sri Lanka, a leading Indian tabloid called me to ask how it was working with Sunny Leone. They wanted intricate details!
So then, what was it like working with Sunny Leone in Jism 2? Also, what is your role in the film?
(Smiles) I’m always asked that question, primarily because Sunny is an adult film actor. She is a thorough professional and performed what she had to. She is good at her work. Good eye candy. Her choice of profession is not my headache. But there is a lot of buzz about her and she has worked very hard.
I play an investigative officer who sort of sets the ball rolling.
How was it with the two boys – Randeep Hooda and Arunoday Singh – in Jism 2 ?
They’re cool. It’s my second film with Randeep – I’ve done Jannat 2 with him. Both Arunoday and him are bright and very cinema literate. Arunoday and I had a lot of scenes together. His only drawback is that he’s so tall (laughs).