When a character becomes popular, the industry typecasts the actor in similar roles. But actor Manoj Pahwa had more to it. “Comic roles are something that got stuck with me. I was not allowed to reduce my weight! The recent example is my last film Dil Dhadakne Do. During the course of shoot, I fell ill and lost some weight. When I next showed up on the set, a concerned Zoya (Akhtar director) told me that she wanted me in my ‘weighty avatar’ to maintain the continuity,” he tells HT City.
The actor was in his ‘nahihal’ Lucknow ahead of his forthcoming show Daffa 420 with co-actor Amit Mistry. “People know me more for my comic roles and it’s true that 75 per cent of the work I have done has been in that zone. I have done other roles too — serious, negative, cop and character — but comic ones have been more popular,” he says.
Manoj is back to the small screen after his cult show Office Office ended in 2008. “After that I did not get anything worth considering. Saas-bahu shows are not my cup of tea and comedy shows were also not good either compared to my last show. So, I kept myself busy with films and theatre.”
He and his son, daughter and wife all are heavily into theatre. “My kids have opened their theatre group and my wife is into direction. Theatre is like mother to me and I am here all because of it. It can’t be compared with films and TV. My last professional visit to the city was also for a play.” He will be next seen in films Love Exchange and Ticket to Bollywood.
A son of garage owner, Manoj decided to go into acting field while in school. “I started doing Ramleela and theatre. One day when I told my father that I wanted to join this field, I was heavily scolded. His dialogues still echoes: ‘Ghar ke dhandha chor kar bhaandgiri karange’. But acting was destined and here I am. But my advice to people interested in this field is to first attain qualification and then jump into it.”
In the one-hour episodic, he plays a jailed conman along with Amit. “It’s an interesting story in which the dynamic cop (Yuvika Chaudhary) teams up with these conmen to solve different cases. We come from different areas but become guru-chela in the jail. It’s a comic thriller and we have shot in real locations like Delhi, Moradabad and Rampur,” tells Amit who has done films like Singh Saab The Great and Yamla Pagla Deewana. The 26-episode show will start this Saturday on Life Ok.