My effort is still the same to surprise the audience. Give them something new. Yes, I did one type of films initially for 10-12 years, but I felt that the audience has seen all that, so I don’t want to repeat it. Luckily I am getting such scripts too. With the advent of OTT, different types of stories are being written, character based films are being written. Now it is not like this is a hero, it is a villain, which used to be in masala films earlier. Those films also play, but now more doors have opened. Content-based films have started being made and I am very happy with this change.
The attitude of the industry has also changed towards you or do those kissing king offers still come?
Absolutely changed. The kind of films that have been offered to me for some time now are different. I am getting very different characters from the films I used to do earlier, so I am very happy that I am getting a chance to experiment.
You guys shot ‘Chehre’ in minus 5-6 degree temperature. Then from last year till now the journey of its release was also full of ups and downs. And what were the challenges?
Not only minus 5-6, we shot in minus 15 degree temperature in Slovakia. When we started the shoot, it was 5-6 degrees, but by the end of the shoot it reached minus 15 degrees, so the crew faced a lot of difficulties, but the production people had arranged well. Then again, we knew these challenges would come. Actually the title of the film was first snow, then the director sahib had kept the setting such that snow falls. At the same time, there was a lot of challenge regarding the release, because no one knew about Covid-19. We were about to release the film in 2020, when the lockdown happened. Then again a plan was made for release in April 2021, then the second web came. Now it is coming to the theatres, because one, this film is made for the big screen. Its sound design and so on. Then, there is also the desire to support theater owners. This is my second film after ‘Mumbai Saga’, which is releasing in theatres.
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Is this the right time for a theatrical release, as Mumbai Saga, despite being a big screen film, didn’t do as well at the box office?
Look, this is not a very good time, because you also know that we have a passion here, about the opening collection, how much the film has on the first day, even though things have changed a lot now. Theaters are not open in Maharashtra yet, but we felt that theater owners are suffering for a long time, they also have expenses, so we should support them. There is definitely a risk factor, but we cannot do anything about it because we do not know when this situation will end. We are doing our work, so whoever wants to be seen in the theatre, should be seen in the theatre. Then, after five weeks the film will come on OTT, so whoever wants to watch there, watch it on OTT.
These days there are many discussions about your fitness and physique. What is his secret?
Yes, I was training in lockdown, because I was sitting empty at home, so what to do. That’s why I started at home, used to workout twice daily. Then slowly it became such a good habit, so when the lockdown opened, I joined the gym. It’s a lot of fun right now.
Where is it going that this look is for your next film ‘Tiger 3’? Tell me something about that movie?
No, no, this is what I started for fitness. Yes, films will also benefit from this. The rest, I can’t talk about that right now.
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Doing something new under your production banner?
Right now I am not doing anything, but it is not that I will not do anything further. If I get a good story, I will definitely make it.
In the film, you and Amitabh Bachchan are accusing each other. How was the experience of working with him?
It was a bit strange to do this accusation-and-counter-accusation scene because we have grown up seeing Amitji’s pictures. He is a fan. Such screaming and shouting at him seemed very strange in the beginning, but he himself is very supportive. Help you as an actor. Another great thing that I learned from him is that he is very disciplined about his work. Reading also comes. They also come to the set on time, stay there until the director gives a break, not that their shot is done, then go to the van. Stay engaged the whole time.