Weren’t you apprehensive that Aladin was releasing with London Dreams?
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t. Every actor worth his salt and pepper wants to have a solo release every Friday but that’s not how things work. I don’t think I’m wrong if I want my films to be solo releases. Nevertheless, I am not the sort who’d wish ill for the competing film. As much as I wanted my film to work, I wished good for London Dreams too.
Special effects are an integral part of Aladin. But movies with high amount of SFX haven’t really done well in the recent past.
I know what you’re referring to. Drona and Love Story 2050 were duds at the box office. Still, I signed Aladin the day Drona released because I had faith in the director and his plans. It’s a cute love story to be part of. A film needs to have a story to begin with. I’m not saying that the other films didn’t have stories. Possibly, the story got lost in the special effects. When that happens, the film just looks like a presentation on special effects and nothing else.
Abhishek Bachchan and you would do impromptu dance numbers with Aishwarya Rai and Amitabh Bachchan on the Unforgettable Tour. Anything that you did with Bachchan Senior in this film?
(Laughs) Aladin is a set story. He is a loser who gets bullied, can’t stand up for himself and can’t tell a girl that he loves her. So, even if I am Aladin, he remains a loser, though he has Amitabh Bachchan for a genie. There was no scope for me to improvise. Aladin can’t dance. So, I had to stick to the choreography. I actually am scared, what if people don’t realise that it’s taken me a lot of effort to stay dumb and be a loser.
Like Aladin, have you experienced magic in your life?
When you work hard and you become successful or achieve what you were striving for, that moment is magic. There have been many such moments. I wasn’t an actor then. The moment when I got news that my father had become the CM and the moment I saw him take the oath, were all magic. And they happened without a genie.
Did you anticipate your brother Amit’s success at the recently-concluded polls?
I did because my brother has done a lot for his constituency. He would be thinking about utilising resources and planning the best for it all the time. My father has been working in that area for so long. Amit had to win the elections.
Were you ever asked to repeat your girlie act after Apna Sapna Money Money?
No, thankfully never. I wouldn’t have done it in any case. You can do these things once in a while, not in every second film you do. That can lead to an identity crisis, no?
You’ve said that being an actor makes one shameless. How?
That happens in a lot of respects. You end up opening up to girls. You make the first move to go and speak to them. You might never have changed clothes except in the closed quarters of your house. But when you become an actor, you may have to strip in a public place for a shoot. I have literally stripped in public at the Times Square in the US. No one recognised me. So, it was easy to change clothes while several firangi women and men gazed at me. I may not do it now but then, I had to because I didn’t have a choice.
Today when you walk on the road, like you did recently when your Merc broke down, do girls scream out loud for you?
They do. They take pictures and ask for autographs. Later they also write mails. I feel it’s a very sweet and humbling gesture and it comes when you’ve arrived.