Bollywood star Viviek Oberoi, Sanjay Dutt and Suniel Shetty at the music launch of Shootout at Lokhandwala in Mumbai on April 15, 2007. The film will hit the theaters this summer.
He is back after a long hiatus. We are talking about actor Arbaaz Khan who plays a cop in Apoorva Lakhia’s Shootout At Lokhandwala. Arbaaz gets candid with HT City.
Where was Arbaaz Khan?
Honestly speaking there wasn’t many interesting work coming my way. I think over the last one year there has been a bigger opportunity to do good work, even if it means being part of a film, which has got many characters. Today I feel that because I didn’t show any kind of rush to sign up anything and everything, at least I am in the reckonings now. And if two odd films do well, I am back in a bigger way. From my side being selective or being off scene has helped since Aaj phir bhi Arbaaz Khan mein kuch to fresh lagta hai.
Does that mean you have not been utilised properly?
That’s the reason why I am hanging around. The audience has faith in me and I am waiting for some filmmakers to have that kind of faith. My fans ask me why I don’t do more films. Filmmakers unfortunately tend to back success more than anything else. I have unfortunately met with very sporadic and lukewarm success.
One film has done well and the following two haven’t, so before the good starts happening, the damage starts. I feel my start was detrimental in a negative role in Daraar (though Nirbhay was his debut, but it was Daraar that got him fame). And you know there are not too many memorable negative characters in the history of Bollywood.
And I have also done some mediocre films. But what could I have done? I had to survive. I was not in a position to choose unlike big actors like Saif Ali Khan or Salman or Aamir or Shah Rukh or Abhishek. They can choose 2 out of 10 good films. But we get one good offer with a lot of difficulty. We have to choose from 10 bad roles.
Among the three Khan brothers you have always kept a very low profile…
Some of it becomes very natural because it’s part of my nature. I don’t want to be in the news for the wrong reasons. Of course I like the media, but I try to get mileage out of my work and whenever it is required. I don’t want to be covered for making a stupid comment or for landing up at a situation to get publicity.
<b1>Your name comes before Suniel Shetty’s and the other biggies in the credits of Shootout At Lokhandwala…I guess you have a very important role in the film…
That has got to do with the director Apoorva Lakhia. He being a Hollywood style person goes with surnames of with the seniority. K(han) comes before the S(hetty) and that’s why I guess. There’s no reason why my name should come first before Shetty’s. If I were given a choice I would put his name before mine. He and I have almost equal roles. Yes, I am very happy with the role. It’s after a long gap that I have an author-backed role. I am very much a director’s actor or the role has got to be author backed. I can’t act in a void. I can’t act from nowhere. My characters in Daraar, Malamaal Weekly and, Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya worked because the directors and writers clearly knew what they wanted out of those characters.
In Shootout…one of your co-stars is Viveik Oberoi. Was there any air of discomfiture working with him specially after the Ash episode which happened four years back?
We have no scene together. I think too much of water has flown under the bridge. He took the initiative to hug me during the music launch of the film. Now, you don’t make an issue out of everything. May be it would have been awkward to work before, when the incident (the Salman-Viveik tussle over Aishwarya Rai) had just happened. There was a reason why something of that sort happened. It’s past and everybody has grown. There’s no point holding grudges against somebody. Viveik gives me the feeling that what happened was wrong. He has changed quite a bit, she (Aishwarya) has moved on and got married, Salman has somebody else in his life. In fact, I am doing another film with Viveik — Fool ’n’ Final. Even there, we don’t have a scene together.
Now the million-dollar question — when is Salman Khan getting married?
I have no clue. Even he won’t be able to answer that. I will tell you what — my younger brother Sohail turned up one day with his wife and said that he had got married. I had no idea that he was seeing this girl perhaps for a very brief period. If my younger brother can do it then my elder brother (Salman) is more capable of doing it. I guess he will do the same (with a laugh). The moment he starts thinking about marriage, he will probably not take too much of time.
Arbaaz Khan as the husband, father, brother and son. Which one of these does he enjoy the most?
I enjoy all these roles. There are some roles, which I play better than the others
Fool ‘n’ Final, Dhol and others. And then there’s the Amar Akbar Anthony remake (with the three Khan brothers) that should start by the end of this year. It depends on Salman and David Dhawan’s availability. But it’s happening.
What happened to the show on TV?
We (wife Malaika Arora Khan and he) were supposed to do the cricket show as a prelude to the World Cup, but there was some problem with the time slot. Then it was decided that it would be done during the cricket World Cup, but eventually it was left in the backburner.