He’s been part of multiple franchises, but the two characters that form the highlights of Arshad Warsi’s career are Babban (Ishqiya, 2010; Dedh Ishqiya) and Circuit (Munna Bhai MBBS, 2003; Lage Raho Munna Bhai, 2006).
Commended for his acting prowess in his last release, the actor talks to us about his dreams and desires, and what makes him tick.
You have been part of two successful sequels — Dedh Ishqiya and Lage Raho Munna Bhai. How challenging is it to visit the same character again?
Revisiting a character isn’t tough, but my challenge is how to make the character better. I can play the same role years after the first film, but I always look at what new nuance can be added to it. Babban and Circuit are both raw and have the same nature, yet they are completely different people. I try to make every character I play different from the ones I’ve portrayed.
Would you say that the best performances of your career were in these films?
They were mediocre performances, though I enjoyed playing Babban more. In terms of depth, I think Sehar (2005) was better. Munna Bhai was appreciated and it gave me a new lease of life.
Naseeruddin Shah said you shouldn’t make the mistake of limiting yourself to comic parts. Do you agree?
Yes, I am tired of doing comedy. I enjoy serious cinema too. Thankfully, in Subhash Kapoor’s Guddu Rangeela, I have a serious side to the character, which I am happy about.
Most actors are obsessed with their looks. How important do you think fitness and appearance are for an actor?
I was always a below-average looker. There’s nothing I can do about it. I am not vain and believe in doing my job. But yes, I need to get a bit fitter and I am working on it. I also believe that when someone is happy, it shows on his/her body, and that’s happening with me.
You tried your hand at production a while ago (the film didn’t do well). Are there plans to direct or write a film?
There are plans, but not right now. I will direct a film one day. I have always harboured a desire to direct, but things like banner, actor and script have to fall into place.
Post Bigg Boss, you didn’t do much TV. Why?
I got many offers, including Bigg Boss 2, but I was in London shooting a film and couldn’t take it up. TV is fun and interesting, but not at the cost of films, despite the fact that it pays much more.