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Arshad's balancing act

He tickles the funny bone of the audience and he will be seen in some of the top movies of 2006.

india Updated: Jun 15, 2006 17:10 IST

Arshad Warsi hates the tag of being a solid comic actor, but he cannot get away from it, not after his role as sidekick Circuit in the hit Munnabhai MBBS.

Though he debuted in Tere Mere Sapne about a decade ago, it wasn't until three years ago that Warsi found a firm footing in the industry. That too in the genre of comedy. Strange that he often tries to shake off the tag.

Considering at one time Warsi was ignorant of the ways of the industry, it's interesting that today he is working with one of the biggest banners in Bollywood, Yash Raj Films.

After Salaam Namaste, his next venture with them is Kabul Express, which features him in a parallel role with John Abraham.

 

 Arshad will next be seen in Kabul Express

"It's a realistic role, and being a part of the media, you'll understand the characters very well," says Warsi. He plays a news channel's cameraman while Abraham is the journalist.

The crew of Kabul Express was shooting in Afghanistan at a time when the Taliban had issued threats to Indians. So did he feel the pressure while working there?

"We were certainly worried when we were travelling from the hotel to the location, which was far away. But once we reached it, there was no worry as the entire area was cordoned off, so we could work without any fear," he shares.

Before Kabul Express, there's Anthony Kaun Hai?, a thriller with Sanjay Dutt directed by Raj Kaushal.

"It's great working with Sanju because he's so chilled out and secure that an actor has complete freedom to explore his character to the fullest," says Warsi, adding, "In this film I'm romancing two girls, a drastic change from not having any romantic angle in most of my recent films."

He reprises his role as Circuit in Munnabhai II Innings scheduled to release this September. It must have been a cakewalk repeating himself in the sequel to Munnabhai MBBS.

"Not really. After I finish shooting for a film I'm over it. I don't mull over it or my performance. So, when Raju (Rajkumar Hirani) told me about the sequel, I had to reacquaint myself with whatever I had done in the original."

And with expectations from the film increasing by the day, Warsi admits, "The pressure is definitely there. We have to be better than before because that's what is expected from us in the sequel."

While he's associated with the easy and funny characters he's mostly played, Warsi asserts that he'll "continue portraying serious sober roles that are realistic in nature and treatment. Like Seher, which I thoroughly enjoyed acting in. Kabul Express is somewhat like that. Even my scenes with John are as real as it would be between any TV reporter and his cameraman."

And he's already slated to play a terrorist in Seher director Kabeer Kaushik's next film. So if he'll be seen the comedy Golmaal he be balancing it with a more intense role in Rokda, where "my character gradually changes from being a principled guy who suddenly crosses the thin line between good and bad even before he knows it," he says.

These days Warsi is shooting for Indra Kumar's Dhamaal, an all male-comedy with Sanjay Dutt, Riteish Deshmukh, Aashish Chowdhry and Jaaved Jaafri, while awaiting the release of Zamaanat (which he did only to work with Amitabh Bachchan), Mr Black Mr White and Kisse Pyaar Karoon (a campus comedy).

On a final note, he says, "Whatever role I play, I make sure I deliver my best. Because according to my wife Maria, my directors don't expect anything less than brilliant from me."

First Published: Jun 15, 2006 12:14 IST