Rajpal Yadav admits to being typecast as a comedian, but for audiences' sake. He has successfully tickled the funny bones of audiences with the films like Bhagam Bhag, Ladies Tailor, Phir Hera Pheri and Chup Chup Ke. Sonil Dedhia talks to the actor on his upcoming projects, career and inspiration.
You always have a dozen films on hand. Isn't that too much?
(Laughs) That's no problem. That proves I have no shortage of work. Right now, I have Dhol, Bhool Bhulaiya, Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag, Rama Rama Re, Krazzy 4 and Chal Chala Chal.
You are playing 16 characters in Bunty Ka Mama. Right?
(Ha ha) Yes, that's quite a number. It's a tough script.. I play superheroes like Superman, Tarzan, Batman, Shaktimaan, Tintin, Krrish and Mandrake the Magician.<b1>
How come you're a staple in Priyadarshan's movies?
He's such a senior filmmaker. And why only Priyadarshan? I have worked regularly also with Ram Gopal Varma and David Dhawan.
They are clear about their stories and characters. I don't even ask them about my role, I accept what they offer me blindly.
Why don't you do more films like Main Meri Patni aur Woh?
I did Undertrial. It was a serious film. The truth is: I should get such offers in the first place. Right?
Right. But don't your comic characters often become caricatures?
I'll explain why.. when I do a film like Undertrial, people don't watch it. When I do a comedy, they lap it up. That's why filmmakers think of me when they need an actor with comic timing.
What about getting overexposed in the genre?
The problem is that we don't know how to define a comedy. What would you call Sholay? A serious film? An action film?
Veeru, the character of Dharmendraji had a comic element.. didn't it?
(Laughs) Comedies are good as long as they don't give you a splitting headache.
It often seems as if you look up to Charlie Chaplin for inspiration.
I've always said that I don't want to imitate Charlie Chaplin. I am really inspired by him, he's my idol. I had never quit theatre.. I just didn't have the time. In my heart, I know that I'm Rajpal Yadav because of theatre.
Whatever happened to your plans to start a college in Uttar Pradesh?
The plan is still very much there. My elder brother wants to build a girls' college in UP. We don't have a solid education system there. The security in our village for girls in schools and colleges is dismal.
Your wife is a Canadian. How do you cope up the differences in your outlook?
We are bound by love. So what if my wife Radha is from a different culture? She is nine years younger than me but she's very mature. She is my home and finance minister.