Anil Mange channelled his inner Anu Malik to make a mark in Hasee Toh Phasee
Your character Abhinandan is an Anu Malik fan…
Yes. He calls himself Kanpuria Idol. Vinil Sir (Mathew, director) gave me the brief for the character. He is an Anu Malik fan, who falls in love with Meeta (Parineeti Chopra’s character) and he lives in his own world. Understanding the character wasn’t tough, but the two songs — Gori gori and Ek garam chai — that I had to sing were tough. It took me months of watching Anu Malik’s YouTube videos and practising beat-boxing and acapela to get the songs right.
What kind of compliments have you got for your performance?
Kiran Rao said that I was really funny and she wanted to take me home! (Laughs) I have got a lot of appreciation from Karan Johar, Vikramaditya Motwane, Manish Malhotra and Ayan Mukerji.
Has life changed since Hasee Toh Phasee released?
It has, quite a bit. People recognise me on the streets now. Strangers now come up to me and ask for a photo or tell me how they enjoyed my performance. Some just shout out “Kanpuria Idol”(laughs). What more could an actor ask for?
Tell us about your background...
I come from a business family in Madhya Pradesh. My parents expected me to get involved in the family business once I was done studying. I wanted to become a cricketer, but as I grew up I realised that dancing and acting made me happy and helped me express myself. My elder brother told me about Whistling Woods and I enrolled there for an acting course. I have done films before but nothing has got me noticed like Hasee Toh Phasee.
Who are your cinema idols?
There are so many of them. But on top of the list are Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher, Irrfan Khan and Tom Hanks.
What are you doing next?
I am currently shooting a few films. There is Subhash Ghai’s Kaanchi and the remake of Hero, which is being directed by Nikhil Advani. I don’t want to keep doing comedy, so in Kaanchi I play a man double my age. In Shooter, I am the villain opposite Randeep Hooda. I also have a small role in Peekay.