He ain’t no Sean Penn bringing a Harvey Milk alive on screen, but he is certainly ‘milking’ the opportunities coming his way. Even if that means playing a man grappling with his sexuality in a twisted love story.
“A story like this hasn’t been told on the Indian screen to date,” says Vinay Pathak about his comedy, Straight — Pinu Patel Ki Tedhi Medhi Love Story. “We making fun of homosexuals like others do.”
Making a statement in a keffiyeh and shades, Pathak discusses male bonding. “Till now, homosexuality was merely comic relief. But in this film, we are questioning alternate orientation seriously,” he asserts. That doesn’t deter him from trashing Bollywood’s sudden fascination with gays after the success of Dostana. “You know how Bollywood is.. everyone wants to cash in on that one. Though my film is nothing like Milk, it doesn’t look down upon alternate sexuality.”
A Yash Raj favourite after Aaja Nachle and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Pathak says that he reads at least 30 scripts a month. “I’m all for change but I don’t know why I end up picking the films others reject. I’ll not repeat a Bheja Fry or Dasvidaniya. I have to challenge myself,” he asserts.
Talking about his skills as a producer, Vinay says, rather honestly, “I don’t understand the business of movie making. That’s not my expertise. I can only make myself available for creative inputs.”
For someone who’s climbed his way up from TV, Vinay hasn’t done badly at all. After charming Madhuri Dixit (who he describes as “such a doll”), he’s now doing a film called SRK, which has nothing to do with the superstar.
He explains, “It’s a film about a dreamer who doesn’t want to face the reality. I play a lazy bum. I also have Mumbai Cutting, Pappu Can’t Dance Saala, Raat Gayi Baat Gayi and Mumbai Chakachak in which I play an antagonist. I’m really excited about that one.”