Arshad Warsi and Naseeruddin Shah make an odd pair, but the two acclaimed actors have been friends since their first film together, Ishqiya (2010). Arshad, who will be seen with Shah in their third venture, hopes for another Ishqiya to be made soon. In an interview with HT Café, the actor talks about the rapport he shares with the senior actor, and friendship in Bollywood.
You and Naseeruddin Shah will team up for the third time for your next movie, Irada. What about the film appealed to you?
The script was great, and director Aparnaa Singh is fabulous. The film has a message about the environment. And Naseer saab was doing the film, which was also a good reason. I like him; he is a nice guy. He’s Naseeruddin Shah… it’s wonderful to work with him. Besides him, I admire Mr Amitabh Bachchan, whom I have also worked with. I hope I get a chance to work with him again.
Watch the trailer of Irada
How would you describe your relationship with Shah?
He has taken a liking for me, and I like him too. He likes me, as I am casual actor and I have a sense of humour… I don’t know. You should ask him why he likes me. (laughs). The first time I heard him praise me, it made me feel great. I felt, ‘wow, I must be able to act’. He is really sweet, and I thoroughly enjoy working with him. I wish they would make another Ishqiya soon. I like the space we were in during that film. It was bizarre. Although Irada isn’t like that; this film is about a serious topic.
Check out famous dialogues of Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi in Ishqiya
Do you think true friendship exists in Bollywood?
I am sure it does. It is a question of matching your wavelengths. A lot here [friendships in Bollywood] is superficial. I am sure there are true friends, too. When you look at photos of actors such as Raj Kapoor, Dharmendra and Dev Anand, you can see them enjoying each other’s company.
What would you say you have learnt from Shah?
I don’t know if I am smart enough to learn anything from anyone. I’ve done three films with Naseer saab, and I’ve enjoyed the process of working with him. I admire his seriousness, intensity and how he gets into the skin of the character. He is an honest actor and doesn’t lie about his job or mess around with it. His respect for the profession is something every actor should learn.
Do you guys meet off the sets?
Yes. We have done crazy things — we have walked on the beach in the middle of the night, been drunk out of our minds, and have got a restaurant opened so we could eat. This was when he was shooting for Homi’s film and I was there either for work or on a holiday, I don’t remember, and we partied. Any time we have a party at home, he is invited.
Who are you friends with in the industry?
I am friends with everyone, including Riteish Deshmukh, Jaaved Jaaferi, Vidya Balan, Huma Qureshi, Aditi Rao Hydari and Naseer saab. They all come home whenever we have a party, which means a lot to me. They are like family.