From Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai (2010) and Jism 2 (2012) to Jannat 2 (2012) and his upcoming film, Main Aur Charles,
has moved effortlessly between playing strong character roles to essaying the lead on the big screen.
The actor says that his focus is on entertaining the audience rather than worrying about his image.
Confident about his talent, he now talks about attaining stardom some day, his low point and why he prefers not to get used to things.
You switch between lead and character roles, do you think it might confuse the audience or the industry?
That might be the case for some, but people have offered me roles according to my body of work. I don’t have a set image. In fact, I would be curious to know how someone slots me. My last film was
(2013, in which he played a suave businessman), and in my next release, Highway, audiences will see a totally different character (he plays a truck driver).
Does it affect you when you are underplayed during film promotions?
Perhaps the makers have a strategy. I like to take it in a positive light. I am happy because whenever I am underplayed during promotions, it’s worked for me.
Do you aspire to be called a star?
Yes, every actor’s biggest desire is to reach out to as many people as possible and stardom is when a large number of people turn up to watch your films. Many of my earlier movies didn’t get big releases. I invited a lot of people to watch
(2013), which I worked really hard on. As there were no big people involved in it and Mr (Naseeruddin) Shah too didn’t turn up for the publicity, not many people came to watch it. It was a big low. Yet, I am glad I have had eight good releases in the last four years. I overhaul myself for my roles. Sooner or later, I will get my due.
Apparently, you don’t like moving around with an entourage.
I don’t like people waiting on me. I feel it is an unnecessary expense. I try to keep myself as normal as possible. Stardom is transient. People forget you after a while. I don’t want to get used to things and later miss them. That’s why I hardly use air-conditioning, as I might not have it one day.