Pavan Malhotra to come back with Laagi Tujhse Lagan

Hindustan Times | ByRachana Dubey, Mumbai
Dec 26, 2009 05:03 PM IST

After playing Tiger Memon in Black Friday, its time for a sleazy cop role.

The Colors show that starts on Monday marks his re-entry on the small screen. He played Tiger Memon in the much-raved-about Black Friday. He returns as the bad cop in Laagi Tujhse Lagan, after a long break.

He blames it on the movies and also the kind of characters that came his way. "No actor likes to sit at home and twiddle his thumbs. But you can’t accept random roles that come your way," says Pavan Malhotra.

Excerpts from the conversation:

Are you apprehensive about your first negative character on screen?

No, because I have played negative characters in films. It’s another story that this is my ‘first time’ on the small screen and my previous experiences will not help me here.

Why do you say that?

Though my characters were negative, they were different. They taught me something but I still feel like a newbie who’s stepping into the shoes of a sleazy bad cop, who’s the troublemaker in everyone’s life. The reason I accepted this part is because I was convinced that I could play him well.

You didn’t follow the Tiger Memon act with anything equally powerful in the movies.

I think everyone loved Jab We Met and Delhi 6. I agree they weren’t as chunky characters as Tiger Memon was in Black Friday. Everyone has the impression that I don’t want to work in commercial films. That’s not true. I play serious characters but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to do something light. But my only ‘problem’ is that I don’t repeat myself. If I play a Sikh guy in five films, all of them have to be different.

Would you just blame it on your working style that prevents commercial filmmakers from approaching you often?

I don’t know but I have often waited in the wings. My part in Pardes with Shah Rukh Khan was chopped. I agree that it increased the length of the film and didn’t mind it being cut. I waited for someone to approach me after Pardes. Then, I waited for BlackFriday to release.

Go on.

Look, I’ve been around for over 20 years. Still, the number of films that I’ve done is not even close to the double of 20. No actor likes to remain jobless but then, at times you don’t have a choice.

Do you feel that you didn’t market yourself well?

I think the media is to blame because they want to write about stars and their private lives. They don’t want to know about their work. And with actors, well, none of them get written about. I’ve worked in films like Bag Bahadur and Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro but I’m not the most written about actor. When I didn’t have much work on hand, I did Aahat and CID, where I had to be a notch higher than my usual self. Today, I think these shows actually complete me as an actor because if I can’t pull off these over-the-top characters, I’m an incomplete artiste.

Do you feel you lost out in the race?

I think I’m still running it. I regard my profession as a full marathon.

Would you want to do a Bag Bahadur again?

No, because you can do certain roles only at a certain age.

Why were you waiting for Black Friday to release when most of the audience had watched it on DVD?

I had worked really hard on that film. I felt the pinch when people saw it before its release. I remember the evening of the

premiere when my wife called me to tell me that a stay order had been put on the release of the film. When it finally released, it ran

to packed halls but there wasn’t much left to cash in on that film.

Okay. Did the Delhi 6 failure pinch as much?

It matters to show commercial successes on your CV. But then, it doesn’t deter me from trying out one more commercial film and shooting for another 50 days for it.

You didn’t return to theatre after you shifted to Mumbai from Delhi?

I am a dedicated a worker. If I start doing theatre now, I’ll not abandon it for a film. I want to do films right now. So, theatre is on the back-burner now, but one never knows.

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