By Priyanka Bhadani
While you are applauded for almost all the roles that you do, does being a part of Kick, give you a kick?
I am really happy with the way people have reacted to my character, Shiv Gazra, in the film. While it remains a Salman Khan film, I feel great to be a part of it as the masses have embraced me.
But how important is it to be a part of an out-and-out commercial venture like this?
This was an important project for me in a lot of ways. The most important thing is that now when my films made on smaller-budget with limited promotional activities will release, this one role will push those films as the masses have recognised me now.
So, you think it will assure audiences for your upcoming films?
I am hoping it will as the audience now knows me and recognise me as an actor.
Have offers from big banner films changed you as a person?
I don’t think so. My basic instinct for choosing a role still remains the same. The passion for acting is also similar and I still take each day of my work as seriously as I did earlier.
Did you see any change in the audience perception after Kahaani, which also became commercially-successful and even your role was appreciated in that?
Of course, the perception had changed even then. I had come into the limelight. But in this case, it is even more bigger as Kick is being seen by a larger audience, much bigger than that of Kahaani or any other film because it has a superstar like Salman Khan.
Talking about superstars, does it bother you that your role will be overshadowed by them as they would always get bigger chunk in the film?
When you zero down on signing a film, you think a lot about the pros and cons. You go through your role as well as the entire script properly to understand the character you are playing, in the best way. In this case, the way Sajid (Nadiadwala) narrated me the script, I became quite interested and I am thankful to him that he stuck to that without any chopping or cutting.
Does the success and appreciation for your role in Kick mean that your orientation would change?
I would like to do a few films like these, may be one in a year. However, my focus will still be on the kind of films I have been known for and have been doing for years – the content-oriented, small-budget films.
What do you think restricts the success of small-budget films?
It’s not that the small-budget films are not successful. If you look at the logistics, they recover the money and most of the time even earn pretty well. I had done a film called Miss Lovely directed by Ashim Ahluwalia. The film was really good but since it wasn’t promoted well, the public at large didn’t even get to know about it. However, since the movie was made in just one crore, it didn’t suffer losses. It recovered its money through satellite rights.
What else affects a small-budget film besides lack of proper promotions?
The most unfortunate thing is that even smaller films are declared a hit or a flop within the first weekend which shouldn’t be the case as the word-of-mouth for such films take time. People go to watch them only later in the week.
What’s the solution to that?
The way we calculate the success or failure of a film should change. Just because a film has entered the Rs.100 crore club doesn’t mean that it is successful. We should be driven by the content and write more about it than the box-office collections.