His last film, Golmaal Returns, released more than a year ago. The trade is already abuzz with his next release, Ishqiya. Last week, Arshad Warsi came on a hush-hush visit to Calcutta. t2 pinned him down for a quick chat…
How does it feel to be back in the city?
Oh, I love Calcutta! Years ago when I was a choreographer, I used to come to the city almost every month. Its been quite a while since I stayed for a while in Calcutta, but I really like the city. In fact, this time around I found the city much less congested. The pollution seems to be less and the roads are also better. Even at the risk of sounding cliched, I have to say that I simply love Calcutta food! I am here only for a day but I ensured that I had a hearty Bengali meal at my hotel (Hyatt). The Prawn Malaikari was out of this world!
So are you ready to do a Bangla film?
I have been offered one or two, but nothing so exciting for me to take up. I have also been very hard pressed for time. But I think I would be very comfortable with Bangla. I think its a wonderful language, very sweet. I have watched a couple of Bangla films and I liked them a lot. I think Chokher Bali was superb.
You havent had a release in a very long time. What have you been up to?
Well, I have been shooting for a few films, all of which will release in the next couple of months. I have turned producer with Kaun Bola. We are planning to change the title soon, but I must say that the film has turned out beautifully. I am very proud of Kaun Bola .Everyone — Dia (Mirza), Boman (Irani), Sandhya (Mridul) and director Kabeer Kaushik who made Seher with me — has done a great job in the film. Then, of course, there is Ishqiya with Naseeruddin Shah and Vidya Balan, set to release in December. The promos are out and everyone is raving about Ishqiya already. I am really looking forward to these two films.
What is Ishqiya all about?
Naseerbhai and I play Bhopali crooks. We are a mama-bhanja pair who fall in love with the same girl, played by Vidya. The film is directed by Abhishek Chaubey and produced by Vishal Bhardwaj. I feel honoured to work with people like Vishal and Naseerbhai because they constantly keep you on your toes. You are always thinking of ways to match up to their standards and Ishqiya was one hell of a learning experience for me. Then of course there is Vidya, who is a dear friend. The comfort level with her is very high, although she has a problem of breaking into giggles at the most inopportune of moments (laughs). We all have worked very hard on Ishqiya. I hope the audience likes the film.
Much has been said about the Arshad-Vidya kiss in Ishqiya…
Oooohhh, I am quite tired of that now! It was a major kissing scene and I wasnt at all comfortable doing it. I know that it was just acting and all that, but I dont think I will ever have the guts to do something like that again. Maria (his wife) has also told me that she doesnt like it (laughs).
When will we see you returning with your Circuit act in the Munnabhai series?
Raju (Hirani) is busy with 3 Idiots now. Munnabhai should happen soon, lets see. Not only the audience, we all are looking forward to the next Munnabhai film. We have to do something spectacular to match the first two films. Its a lot of pressure (laughs).
You appeared on Dance Premier League last month. Any plans of a career in television?
I really didnt have much to do because I was just judging the audition rounds. Given a chance, a good show and great bucks, I would jump into television. Its a great way to connect with the audience.