Reel and real life go hand-in-hand for host and now actor Manish Paul. Not only is his character named after his actual nick name, Mickey, the ‘Virus’ also does justice to Manish’s ‘colours’ as a youngster.
Directed by Saurabh Verma, Manish Paul’s debut film, Mickey Virus, hits the screens on October 25, and shows Manish’s character, Mickey, as a computer geek, brought up in a Punjabi family in Delhi’s Malviya Nagar.
In Chandigarh on Tuesday, Manish talks about his role: “Mickey is your typical boy next-door, a proper vella in life who runs his mother’s grocery store by the day and creates ‘viruses’ for anti-virus companies by night. I can relate to the character because before I landed in Mumbai, my day used to commence with purchasing bread and butter from a grocery store, and yes, I used to hack my friends’ e-mail IDs to be able to read their girlfriends’ mails. But, I must clarify that we are not promoting hacking through the film. In fact, in the movie, Mickey gets into trouble because of his hacking ways.”
(Photo: Gurminder Singh/HT)
As he talks about his typical Delhi boy character, we can’t help but find a striking similarity with Ayushmann’s Vicky (from 2012 film Vicky Donor) and Manish’s Mickey. “The only similarity is the rhyming names — Mickey and Vicky. And yes, we both play the role of a Delhi boy.
In real life, however, we both started off as hosts before entering the film industry,” explains Manish.
Elaborating on his transition from an RJ and VJ to a host, having shared the stage with Shah Rukh Khan, Salman and Aamir, amongst others, Manish says, “I reached Mumbai with just one suitcase and no filmy background. I got work because of my hard work and thus paved my own way. Television has given me a lot — I was Mr Nobody before TV happened. Initially, I got many offers for cameos on TV but I didn’t lose sight of my aim — to be an anchor.”
Ask him about his favourite host and he names his Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa (season 6) co-host, Kapil Sharma. “I loved hosting the show with him. Being Punjabis, our comic timing and style clicked. According to me, Kapil is the best Indian stand-up comedian. I am looking forward to being a part of Comedy Nights with Kapil soon,” says he, adding that he would next be seen in the sequel to
Tere Bin Laden.