Anil Kapoor's comic turn in Anees Bazmi's Welcome has brought the house down. But on the sets, the vibes were not always pleasant between the actor and his immediate co-star Nana Patekar.
"Yeah, he's known to be temperamental. And yes, a couple of times he definitely flipped the lid and walked off the sets. But he was back again once he cooled down. How do I react to temper tantrums on the sets? I keep to myself, sit in a corner, observe the tamasha and wonder why the actor is behaving the way he is."
Anil admits to getting angry just a couple of times in his entire career. "But only when the work is suffering. Otherwise never. I don't demand anything. On the contrary, I keep giving and do not expect anything in return."
Calls of appreciation and messages are flooding his home.
Says Anil, "Frankly, feedback for my performance in Welcome is embarrassingly lavish. Shocking! I never expected it. See, I played the mobster with sincerity. I've played it seriously and was not funny. I look funny to the audience."
Ask him, if he acted in the film for the sake getting together with his Parinda co-star Nana, Anil protests: "Believe me, I didn't even know what the film was all about or who'd be in it. Anees asked me to do it. That was enough for me. I had starred in No Entry with him. I knew he had a flair for comedy. I was sure he won't make me do anything embarrassing. The whole thing could've gone wrong. Thank God, it worked. I'm humbled and shocked by the reaction."
<b1>The only other comic outing for Anil in recent times was No Entry.
"The only way your roles work are if you make them different each time. There's no point in doing an unbroken series of comic roles. When one genre clicks, other actors keep doing the same thing over and over again. Not me. I have survived by doing the unexpected. There are 3-5 genres in which the audience accepts me. And I keep doing them."
Anil is wary about the idea of doing a sequel to Welcome.
"It all depends on how the first part performs. The opening has been outstanding in spite of the film not being releasing in the multiplexes. It was released on Wednesday in Dubai and the collections were phenomenal."
Was Anil cautious about doing a film with so many other actors?
"Why do you say that? True I've done a majority of single leads. But in films like Karma where I worked with the great Dilip Saab, Nutan and others, I look at my role and scope of performance. If I'm happy with that, it doesn't matter who's in the film. I just do my job."
In his next release Race, Anil says he has only a cameo.
"It's basically the story of two brothers Akshaye Khanna and Saif Ali Khan. I play a cop, after a long time. This is my first film with Abbas-Mustan and therefore special. Abbas and Mustan come well prepared. It's releasing in February 2008. Then in March, there was Subhash Ghai's Black or White starring me. Yashraj releases Tashan in April."
That's four releases in five months!
"I'm still hungering for challenging parts. I want to make my career for the next twenty years," says the insatiable Kapoor.