Santoshi says that Shahid’s role in the action-comedy film is different from Salman’s cop turn in the Dabangg series. “Salman Khan is a veteran and a fine actor. He has tremendous fan following and has got a lot of successful films to his credit. One shouldn’t compare Shahid and Salman,” says Santoshi. “Also, Shahid’s role in PPNH is not similar to what Salman has played in the past. Shahid’s role is new and this is his first action-comedy endeavour,” he adds.
But Santoshi feels that the comparison with Salman is a good sign for Shahid. “Although the comparison is unjustified, it’s a positive thing (for Shahid). Salman has been part of a lot of successful mainstream films and is loved by the masses. And if people are comparing the two, it’s good for Shahid.”
While Shahid’s films haven’t done well at the box office in the last couple of years, Santoshi is optimistic about this venture and he feels that the actor will do justice to the character. “I remember, before Ghayal (1990), which was my debut directorial project, Sunny Deol’s films weren’t doing well. But I had written the script keeping him in mind and it became a success,” says the filmmaker. “I don’t follow any particular trend and don’t ride on anyone else’s success. I see a lot of potential in Shahid, and the moment I was done with the script, I immediately cast him. He has worked hard and done a great job,” he adds.