Arshad Warsi has worked on several films, including the Munna Bhai series and the Golmaal series. Most recently, the actor made news when he was replaced by Akshay Kumar in the sequel to Jolly LLB (2013), a film that also bagged a National Award. Here, Arshad talks about his journey so far, his upcoming film The Legend Of Michael Mishra (which releases on August 5), and why he feels he has got what he deserved.
Rumours claimed that you convinced the makers of Jolly LLB to approach Akshay for the role. Is this true?
I am no one to convince anyone. The studio backing the film had already decided to approach Akshay for the role. I just pushed Subhash (Kapoor; director) to go ahead with it. As a director, he was a bit iffy. For most people, it is hard to take me out (of a film) and get someone else in. But it is nice to see stars doing what (other) actors would normally do; for instance, the kind of roles Salman Khan has done in Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) and Sultan.
You’ve been part of the industry for nearly 20 years now. Do you think you have got your due as an actor?
We always get what we desire. For example, when Shah Rukh Khan must have decided to become an actor, he must have desired to be the best in the business. His entire being has worked towards achieving that. That is how it is. When you want something with your heart and soul, and you focus on it, you will achieve it. I always wanted a peaceful life. I’m not the kind who can handle pressure. So, I have got what I wanted.
You are so relaxed. Your wife, Maria Goretti, is the opposite…
She is a bomb that explodes every 30 seconds. We are all on our toes when she is around. Everything has to be right; you can’t mess around. She gets so upset if somebody wishes me and I don’t reply, or if I don’t call someone to wish him or her happy birthday. She would have whipped me if I had not called Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) on his birthday. She’s very particular.
In the upcoming film The Legend Of Michael Mishra (which releases on August 5), you have teamed up with Boman Irani, and his son Kayoze. Does working with friends make things easier?
Shooting for a film becomes a pleasant experience when you work with nice people like Boman and Kayoze. Boman and I have known each other since before we got into movies. It is always fun to be around him because not only is he a good actor, but he is also an amazing human being. I always say things to pull his leg. Like when Kayoze was shooting with me, Boman would ask, “How’s Kayo doing?”, and I would reply, “Definitely better than you.” Boman is a sport.
When do you think the next instalment of Munna Bhai will go on the floors?
I just hope it gets made. I feel Raju (Rajkumar Hirani; director) and Vidhu (Vinod Chopra; producer) owe it to the world. Too many people have been waiting for it for far too long.
Another instalment of the Golmaal series is also being made. Did you ever expect this journey to go on for so many years?
When I heard the narration of this film for the first time, I felt it was a fun concept. While shooting for it, I realised that Rohit (Shetty; director) has the ability to execute comedy very well. Therefore, we did the other instalments too. Even if a joke was not funny on paper, he would shoot it in a way that made it look funny on screen. Ajay (Devgn) also fits in this space very well.