‘None of my co-stars can ever overshadow me’

What's your role in Joe B Carvalho?
I am playing a detective in the film. He is actually a damn adorable guy. The guy whom you would like to have in your building society, because he will do all the work for you. For example, just tell him, why is there so much water in the milk, he will go and investigate and will find out that you get the correct amount of milk. If somebody drops the slipper, he will go and hang out to find who dropped them. He lives with his mother and aspires to be a known detective but he doesn't get good cases to investigate. The film proceeds to how one good case he gets which is big and then he decides to make his mark along with it.

Do you feel Soha overshadowed you as she is the one who is wearing the pants in the film?
With due respect to every actor, it is very difficult to overshadow me. No, I don't think like that ever. In fact all the actors, directors know about this fact that am never insecure about my role or anything. Whenever I work in a movie, I want every character to do really well because I never compete with my co-stars. My whole aim that we all are in a frame and we are competing with the movie that is releasing on Friday. So the better my co-stars do, the happier I become. Soha in the film has portrayed multiple shades. She is playing this crazy aggressive cop who beats 20 men and can also pull a cabaret number with the same passion and has defied the image and notion she carries in Bollywood.

Tell me, who is a better co-star, is it Vidya Balan in Ishqiya or Huma Qureshi in Dedh Ishqiya?
Both have been absolutely adorable. The difference is that Vidya is a friend of mine before we did the film. We knew each other well. I did not know Huma at all. So for me she was a brand new person to act with, It took us a little time to understand each other. But it didn't take us long and the moment we got comfortable, it seemed the same way as it was with Vidya. Huma is definitely a real actor and has emote real on screen too. We started having a good time in no time.

How challenging is it for you to switch over from doing a comic role to playing a grey character in your films?

Well the audience did see that I managed to do a Ishqiya and Joe B Carvalho at the same time. Naseeruddin Shah once said- 'Arshad is the most secure actor who doesn't take anything seriously'. I do not let anything affect me. I don't try and work too hard. The rule is very simple- I know the story and I know the character. The difference is with the costume, I wear it and act on the set and it comes very easy and comfortable to me. So for me doing Joe and Babban at the same time is no problem.

There has been a lot of sensation created around your kiss with Huma in Dedh Ishqiya. Any awkward moments.

Well I was really awkward during my first kiss in Ishqiya. I just did not know what to do and how to do and thankfully Vidya and me are friends, so she kind of sorted it out for me and made it easy. The good part is that Abhishek knows that am uncomfortable with these scenes, so he lets me handle it my way. Luckily Huma is more aggressive than I am, so she took charge of creating a huge sensuous kiss on screen with me.

Would you like to share anything about your passion for photography?
I like photography. In fact the first picture I clicked was of Vidya Balan without any make-up and almost natural and she loved it. I have an innate passion for it and I utilise it for capturing those moments, time and that place while travelling for shoots to different places.

What's happening to the Munnabhai sequel?
We are waiting for Sanjay Dutt to get out actually. The germ, idea and the script is ready and the detailing has to be done. So we are working on it. Meantime me and the director are doing another film called Guddu Rangeela. But once the script is ready for the Munnabhai sequel which is pretty much the time Sanjay will get out, we will get on working on it.

Do you ever feel that some actor can replace Sanjay Dutt for Munnabhai sequels?
No, I feel it will be a bad idea for anyone to play Munnabhai other than Sanjay Dutt. There is a certain thing about Sanjay in terms of personality. Only he gives out a vibe of a big guy who is really solid yet silly, that's Sanjay for you.

Are we ever going to see Maria and you doing a film together?
Not  at all. Maria will never do a film. She hates Bollywood cinema. She just did a couple of films because her friends asked her to do it and for that too she was crying and cribbing as to why did she said yes for them. She can never remember Hindi dialogues though any English film might do. But she is not interested at all.

You have been an avid dancer and a choreographer but we don't really see you shaking a leg in your films.
I don't get such roles and films which is sad. The kind of films I am doing, they don't have the dancing numbers I would love to dance to. Like if I do a film like
, I would be definitely dancing. Now I do a film like Jolly LLB, there you can't expect a lawyer hailing from Meerut to show his dance moves and all. It doesn't gel you see.

If not an actor, what was you plan B then?
Not many know that my first introduction to film industry was as an assistant director. I never thought of becoming an actor, though I was active in theatre. And I wanted to be just a director. If I had been one today I would love to cast Ranbir and Deepika together, they are my favourite actors amongst the young lot. Also Kajol, who is my all time favourite.
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