Bollywood actors Tusshar Kapoor and Mallika Sherawat are all set to make their digital debut with ALTBalaji’s Booo Sabki Phategi. Also starring Krushna Abhishek, Kiku Sharda and Sanjay Mishra, the comedy caper has been directed by Farhad Samji.
In an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com, Tusshar and Mallika opened up about their series, freedom in the web space and working together after 17 years.
Here are some excerpts from the conversation.
What is Booo Sabki Phategi all about?
Mallika: It is a horror comedy. I am playing Haseena, a ‘bhootni’ and I just loved it. I never knew that I would have so much fun playing a ‘bhoot’.
Tusshar: ‘Boo’, as we know, is a word used to scare someone, while ‘phategi’ means you are scared. So it’s a combination of being scared and scaring others. It all starts at a resort, where I am the owner, and my friends gate crash to have a reunion party. But things take a turn for the worse when Haseena comes into the picture and busts us out.
What’s your take on the genre of horror comedy?
Tusshar: I think it makes the genre much wider and appealing. People love horror but don’t watch it sometimes because they are scared. So when you mix comedy, it becomes a family entertainer. It won’t scare you much but satisfy you with enough shockers.
Mallika: Yes, you will see that Booo is a complete entertainer.
You both are making your digital debut with this series. What’s your take on the digital boom?
Mallika: Personally, I prefer OTT more than films. Bollywood is extremely traditional, fearful and doesn’t want to take risks. Digital has no censorship and I believe that art and artistes should never be censored. For example, I am watching Delhi Crime currently. In a traditional film, an actor like Shefali Shah wouldn’t have got a chance to carry a film solely. So it’s so nice to see that change.
Tusshar: Apart from artistic freedom, I also feel logistically it becomes much wider. It’s like a galaxy in itself. There is no restriction of geography, language or physical space. You can watch it anywhere, anytime, even after a month of its release.
Mallika, was this the reason why you were staying away from Bollywood?
Mallika: It’s really important for me to get out of my comfort zone and Bollywood became comfortable for me. So I tried amateur theatre, took some acting lessons, hobnobbed with worldly personalities and that worked for me. One needs to break out if they want to grow as an actor or reinvent themselves. Now I am back with Booo and raring to go.
Tusshar, you have been stereotyped as a comedy actor while Mallika is known to be the bold star. Do you feel it’s right to put an actor in a box?
Tusshar: If you get boxed, it means you are being liked for something. There are pros and cons to it. To satiate your hunger and prove your versatility, one should be doing different roles but then you shouldn’t stop doing what fans like. If they have given you that identity, it should be respected.
Mallika: I agree with what Tusshar says. I have found fame, love, wealth and the chance to live my life in my own terms through these roles. But as an artiste, one can always do different roles. It’s important to have that balance.
You both are working together after a long time. How was it meeting each other again?
Tusshar: We have met after 17 years, and strangely we don’t seem to have aged at all. We haven’t been in touch but Mallika is unforgettable. We had a great experience back then and it was fun to work together again. We are older, wiser and stronger now. It’s interesting that her film and digital debut has been with me.
Mallika: You just made us sound so ancient (laughs). Jeena Sirf Merre Liye was my first film and producer Vashu Bhagnani told me that I have all my scenes with Tusshar and Kareena Kapoor. I had just come from Haryana and was so starstruck. But Tusshar was really nice to me. He has always been a real gentleman.