Bollywood

One-on-one with Arshad Warsi: I am still a cowboy at heart

Arshad Warsi has been in Bollywood for more than two decades.  He has had his fair share of hits and flops. Today he is not worried about stardom or not doing too many films. He says that he is content  in life and knows his craft well. 

We heard you received a lot of threat calls lately?
There are lot of  idle people in this country and these people are  looking for opportunity to get their fifteen minutes of fame. My brother and manager have been threatened and they have been getting  scary threat calls for sometime now. It has something to do with Valmiki’s dialogue. I don’t understand where we have gone wrong  I hate all this and I stay away from such things. I am a very peaceful man.  I don’t even know who they are. I have not done anything to be safe. Maria is worried and says don’t go to Delhi. They are from Delhi and they said that they will kill us and burn us.  I have not taken any safety measures as yet.
What measures have you taken to safe guard yourself?
I am careful of things and don’t take any drastic measures.  What bothers me is the half knowledge. I love my sanity and my life and anything to do with court and law troubles me.

Do you feel that the industry is star driven? You have been replaced by Akshay in Jolly LLB next?
It will always be a tough choice when you  mix art and business. The producers needed a star like Akshay Kumar to pull the film, so it’s fair.  It’s easier. When you have a big star you don’t need to force people to come to the theatres because they will come and see the film anyway. It’s easier with money and chances of losing is less and it’s a safer bet.
What next?
Next year is going to be year of sequels for me. There is Golmaal Part 3, Dhamaal Part 4 and Munnabhai Part 3. Raju is working on it. He will start it when he wants to.  He is finishing Sanju’s biopic. 

How was it working with Aditi Rao Hydari? 
We did Guddu Rangeela  together and she is good. I have a problems when you have a bad actor. Even the audience does not like a bad actor. She is absolutely good and knows how to present herself.
You have always chosen roles which have been out of the box?
I chose all the films because they were all great films. I have enjoyed Munnabhai, Golmaal and Dhamaal. I loved my role  in Ishqiya. He is filthy and I am polite and he is rude.  He talks weird, sits weird and walks weird. He is kind of my alter ego.

Do you worry about your stardom?
Nothing bothers me. Aggression, anger, reaction of a failure – these are all a weapon of a weak minded person. I am the only actor who did not work for three years. I keep getting asked questions like are you happy. We all get what we desire for.  If you aim less you get that much.  I am a cowboy at heart.  I want a farmhouse by the lake and a horse. I want to write a book and  read and direct films. I am the calm person. I have sub consciously  steered my life towards what I want. I don’t want success. That success is because the world wants to see me. Whatever I wanted I have got  in life already.
Does the thought of having no work five years later trouble you?
I am not that stupid. I made good investments and my life is sorted.  My belief is you know your job you will work all your life, no matter what and I know I am good at my work. I will play an uncle,  father or a grandfather until I am old. 

Do you want your children to follow your profession?
They have to finish their education and be bright as Maria and I will support them in whatever they do. My son is far from all this. My daughter is the one who likes films. She is a natural actor and that is big trouble (laughs).
What has been the secret of your happy married life?
I keep saying sorry. I think I don’t get angry. Maria gets angry easily. When I fight I like to reason it out. I am not upset because I am angry. I can compartmentalize. Saying sorry is meditative for me. It always works.

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