How did this show happen?
I guess because of all the votes I got from Bigg Boss 3 (laughs). Colors offered me the show and I was keen on doing something in the 9 pm slot, so it was perfect. I didn’t expect to take the judge’s position after being in a house where we were being judged constantly, but it’ll be a pleasure working with veterans like Sarojji and Ahmed bhai. It should be fun.
Judging children might not be an easy task…The idea is that children should enjoy themselves. There should be no pressure; if there is tension, then I will have to work very hard behind the scenes (laughs). I will see the amount of effort they have put in, if they have tried something different; and as an actor, we also have the advantage of understanding expressions, and so we can judge that too.
I want to judge them like a parent, like someone who is watching them perform. I’m not going to judge them on missing a dance step. I have heard stories about young children who don’t make it for a show and get depressed, and some have committed suicide. I don’t want anything like that, and we’re going to make the atmosphere really happy so no such feeling comes in.
Would you call yourself a good dancer?
I think so. I have done lots of filmy dances. We used to practice at Madhumati dance classes for two hours everyday. But we are Bollywood dancers; we only copy what the choreographer does.
Has life changed after winning Bigg Boss 3?
Completely. I couldn’t believe it, but looks like the whole world watched Bigg Boss. Wherever I go I get congratulated. I didn’t know children were allowed to watch the show, but so many of them would see me and come and hug me. I was surprised.
What is the state of the prize money?
I did not go there for the money. I went there to become famous and start working harder. The main thing is that the car they promised me hasn’t reached me yet. I was going to buy it anyway, so I’ve asked them if they’re giving it or not; I’ll buy it either ways. As for the money, you only want to invest for your children.
Do you ever plan on choosing a side — television or film?
I plan on doing both. I obviously want to do more movies and less TV but I can’t do soaps anymore, because I don’t have the time. An episodic thing may work. Movies will definitely be prioritised. The thing is, I now can’t refuse anything Colors offers me. (Laughs)
Any reality shows underway?
I don’t think I can do any more reality shows. Thank god I finished this one and came out as a winner. When I was watching the show, I was shocked at what all I was saying. Reality shows aren’t so easy. Talent shows these days are edging into reality TV space…
Do you think the line is fading?
Chak Dhoom Dhoom is not a reality show, but, yes, it does fall under that area. When we were auditioning in Lucknow, so many children turned up, that we weren’t prepared. We never expected so many children to turn up. This new breed of children are so talented. There were rumours that Chak Dhoom Dhoom was replacing.
Abhishek Bachchan’s Araam Classes?
(Gasps) Wow… Nothing like that. Abhishek Bachchan has done a great job; his show has hit straight TRPs of 5.1. It will be very difficult to replace him. They are like family to me. And plus, it’s the children who will make this show, not me. I don’t think I can do any more reality shows. They aren’t so easy.
Are you working on any films right now?
I’ve got three to four film offers. I have already signed one with Guddu Dhanoa, who is making a Punjabi movie. So he said, ‘most of your votes have come from Punjab, so you have to do a film for them.’ I’m doing an advertisement with Ranbir Kapoor. There is also an offer with a Sajid Nadiadwala film that stars Salman bhai.