In the trailer of ZEE5’s upcoming crime thriller Abhay 2, Chunky Panday has transformed from the funny Aakhri Pasta of Housefull series to a slouched man who is ready to kill at the drop of the hat. He plays a double-faced serial killer named Harsh in the Ken Ghosh directed web series. Though his evil character comes as a surprise to the audience, Panday has always been fascinated with villainous roles.
“I have always been a fan of villains. Since childhood, I have rooted for villains, whether it was Shatrughan Sinha in Rampur Ka Lakshman, Gabbar Singh (Sholay) or Mogambo (Mr India). Like people used to say, ‘I want to be a hero after growing up,’ I used to say, ‘I want to be a villain.’ I have that ‘shaitaani’ mind. Surprisingly, the character of a villain comes easily to me,” Panday told indianexpress.com during an exclusive chat.
Known for his comic roles, Chunky Panday got to portray darker characters in recent films like Begum Jaan (2017), Saaho (2019) and Prasthanam (2019). He opined that the success of a villain depends on the director.
“I have loved villains like Shakti Kapoor and Kader Khan who have been great comedians as well as villains. Comedy is all about writing, if your writing is good, you can make the audience laugh. But the villain is all about the director. A director should love his/her villain and if he does, almost your entire work is done,” he said.
Abhay 2 has Chunky Panday playing a “crazy character which will make you like and hate him in equal measure.” The 57-year-old actor describes his part as “a three-dimensional character who is something in the morning, something else in the afternoon and a complete monster in the night.”
To make his character Harsh look real, Panday stylised himself on one of his school teachers whom he hated. “I changed myself physically to portray the role of Harsh and took inspiration from one of my school teachers. He was sweet but strict. I put up a false stomach, changed my walk and also the way I talked. I transformed so much that you won’t see Chunky Panday in Harsh. He is a completely different personality. After watching the promo, I am myself scared of this character,” the actor shared.
In a career spanning over three decades, Chunky Panday has often played supporting roles but he has no qualms about it. He said, “You don’t have to be the main person in a film or a show. You just need those two scenes that can leave an impact on the audience. If you get those, you don’t need the whole film to prove your caliber.” The only regret he has is of not winning any awards, “I’m always waiting for that one great performance to happen which can win me a big award. Until now, I have always been nominated but have never lifted the trophy.”
For Panday, his best roles have been of Akash Bhardwaj in Vishwatma, Baban in Tezaab, Aakhri Pasta in Housefull, Rana Jang Bahadur in Apna Sapna Money Money and Devraj in Saaho. And, now the actor wishes his character in Abhay 2 to be “one of the most memorable characters of his career.”
Lastly, though the actor refrains from commenting on the ongoing nepotism debate in Bollywood, he does have a piece of advice for his daughter Ananya Panday, who is often trolled on social media.
“I always tell my kids that you have to be strong, and you have to be truthful to yourself. You know what you’ve done, what you’ve achieved and what you can achieve. If you’re a public figure, these are things which will happen. So, you have to prepare yourself for it. It’s not easy. In our times, such vicious trolling didn’t happen. The maximum trolling we faced was when people used to abuse us in theaters and it was more on the fun side. But this is the digital age and they have to deal with it. They should just be strong and, keep working hard and keep showing that talent,” Chunky Panday concluded.