Paresh Rawal: 'Ranbir Kapoor is terrific in the Dutt biopic, he's a unique talent'
Actor-politician Paresh Rawal rarely sits down with the media for a chat but when he does, it is a no-holds barred interaction.
Ahead of the release of his upcoming flick Guest Iin London, Firstpost meets up with the actor in a suburban hotel and he answers every query ranging from movies to politics in his inimitable style, expressions and quirks.
The first part of the film – Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge was quite hilarious and funny. Now, in the second part, Ajay Devgn and Konkana Sen have been replaced by Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Kharbanda. Did you miss Ajay and Konkana especially since you might need senior actors with perfect timing to match your comic timing?
I never missed Konkana or Ajay in this story as it is a completely different film. Secondly, in terms of give and take, Kartik is equally competent, and even Kriti Kharbanda is a good actress. And I mean it, I’m not saying just to sound polite.
In the film, you reprise your role of a 'bin bulaye mehman', so what kind of a guest are you in real life? And how do you tackle unwanted guests?
As a guest, I never disturb the host or any of their belongings and I don’t like people tampering with my stuff as well. I like few people and I like them for not more than three to four days. I am pretty much upfront and straight-forward. I ask them right in the beginning about when they plan to leave, and when their tickets are booked. They know me well so they don’t mind me asking. But I don’t have guests who pester me.
You don’t seem to socialise much...
My job is to do good work. I am not here to maintain relationships. I am from theatre; you can call it arrogance, confidence or over confidence, but I never felt the need to network or party.
What kind of roles excite you? Which have been your most challenging roles so far?
Roles have to be well-written. It should scare me; it is fright that motivates me. Sir, Sardar, Tamanna, Mumbai Meri Jaan, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye — these are some of the better films I've done.
How’s your experience portraying Sunil Dutt in Sanjay Dutt’s biopic?
Oh, it’s so amazing. It’s all because of my director Rajkumar Hirani, because of Abhijat Joshi’s writing and because of Ranbir Kapoor’s acting that the movie is looking amazing. Ranbir is terrific, he is a unique talent.
What kind of preparation went into it?
Fortunately, I am portraying a character that doesn’t have any kind of set mannerisms or idiosyncrasies. Sunil Dutt was very human. He never had any vibes of stardom around him. The film is essentially a story about father and son.
You are working with the younger lot of actors as well, do you think anyone has the potential to match up with the Khans in the near future?
Doing these comparisons is not correct because all have their own X-factor. Salman and Shah Rukh have their own charm and charisma. Aamir is a unique package, he doesn’t rely on charm. Aamir has more goodwill than Tata or Birla and he has made lot of efforts to build that goodwill. Ranbir, Varun are capable but if they get good roles, they will do it. They are all talented.
How challenging is it going to be to playing Narendra Modi in the biopic? How are you going to prepare for it?
Script is still being locked, three-fourth of the script is done. We plan to start next year, some time in March-April. It will be very challenging. You have to go beyond that (mimicry). If I have to mimic Modi ji, then there are many people (who can do it). There’s no mimicry here that’s why it is difficult. Right now, I am meeting him, seeing him but then there is a type of preparation that happens when you detach yourself. You can’t prepare by just watching.
Will the 2002 Gujarat riots be shown in the biopic?
Everything will be there. The notion that people have, those who are roaming around acting as judiciary — will also be shown.
How do you deal with the different political opinions of your colleagues from the film industry, for example, Naseeruddin Shah, whom you have called as one of your idols, or Aamir Khan, with whom you have worked in the past?
You respect that. If Aamir says something or Shah Rukh says something, I respect that. I may disagree. But you can’t stretch it beyond that because they also mean well, they are also talking about country’s wellness. Just that our ways of saying it is different.
You said that Pakistani shows are better than Indian TV shows, but when Aamir or Shah Rukh praise them (Pakistani talent) then they are called anti-nationals.
This is there; they jumped at me as well. I was slammed as well. Anyway, this is something I said in 2014 as well that I like their shows. If I call Imran Khan a good cricketer, does that make Sunil Gavaskar bad? But I will not stop from praising them (Pakistani talent).
How do you tackle with Twitter trolls? For instance, when you congratulated Pakistan for winning the Champion’s trophy, lot of people had slammed you.
I ignore them.
Do you feel any pressure?
Pressure? Of Twitter? Never. Where will you go with such a pressure? This is no any pressure.
Some time back, your tweet on Arundhati Roy caused a storm on social media. In hindsight, what are your thoughts on this?
I firmly believe in whatever I said about Arundhati Roy, I will even repeat it. You cannot run down my country or my army ever. As simple as that.
Wasn't that fake news (a media report claimed Arundhati Roy said Indian army cannot defeat 'azadi gang in Kashmir. It turned out to be a false piece of news)?
She did say. There are so many videos running around. Let’s agree that one was fake news but when my Twitter account re-opened, I put a proof of how she fabricated news regarding the 2002 riots. I won’t back off just because my Twitter account was suspended. No way. There are many other things that she has spoken, which are like poison.
Do you see yourself as Chief Minister of Gujarat in the future?
(Laughs out loud). No, never! I will campaign for the party in the state but I don’t see myself as the CM. I have entered politics for a limited innings. This is not my career. I believe every person is political. Everyone has his or her view. The only difference is that in active politics, you can speak more aggressively. So, it’s restricted to that.