I am quite happy with the way things are shaping up today     Bombay Times |10/2/2003

I am quite happy with the way things are shaping up today

Are you surprised the way your career has gone. You had a decent debut with Daraar, but things did not really take off?
I don’t have any disillusionments as such. I think there were not many roles which I wanted to do that were coming my way. Also, I guess things take their own time. I believe in being patient. Today I’m quite happy with the way things are shaping up. It’s very easy to sit and complain.

Were you looking for any role in particular or were producers shying away because you had portrayed a negative shade?
I was not looking any particular role. After I did Daraar, which was an out-and-out negative role, it did create a certain image in the industry of the kind of work that you do or are good at. Not many different kinds of roles come your way and you don’t want to do the same things. Honestly, I have never refused any good offers.

Obviously, it was a frustrating wait. How did you motivate yourself during that time?
I may not have been disappointed, but there was a certain amount of impatience as my films were taking longer than necessary. However, I never let myself get dejected. Fortunately, the line-up that I have for release are decent and interesting I am quite excited about it.

Your performance in Maa Tujhhe Salaam got a good review, both from critics and the masses...
Generally critics do not go over the top and when you get a review like that from them it’s great. When a performance gets accepted you feel a little happy and relaxed.

In which category do you feel you are best suited — comedy, intense roles or the negative shade?
I would like to try my hand at comedy, though I have never attempted it. As far as negative or the intense roles are concerned, I do them in any case. But what I am not confident of is the regular singing, dancing hero. I will not be confident doing that. I am confident about the other genres and am OK with that. By now even the audience know that I do not fit into the typical romantic hero. I want to work hard at where I am accepted rather that try to do something I am not comfortable with.

What are your forthcoming projects?
Qayamat is ready for release (July 11). There is another movie which I cannot name because I am the surprise element. There’s also Cine Vista’s yet to be named film with Puneet Issar as the director. In this film, both Salman and me are cops. There’s also Akbar Khan’s Taj Mahal — An Eternal Love Story.

Which release are you banking on?
I have come to a stage where I do not pin my hopes on any one release. I work hard on every film and hope they do well. iF a film does not do well, it gives me the impetus to work harder.

You play Aurangzeb in Taj Mahal... have you had to work hard to get under the skin of Augrangzeb?
It’s a very well-defined character. We had a lot of discussions on the get-up, how to treat the character etc. I have read a few books around that era to get familiar with that time and atmosphere. A lot of research and homework has been done.

How much of a change has Arhaan brought in your life?

He has brought about a tremendous change. There is a new sense of responsibility. Overnight I have matured. Now, we are no more a couple. We are a family. I’m not a guy who thinks too much about the future but Arhaan has got me to think ahead. I am conscious that he is helpless and dependent on us.

Do you have to get up in the middle of the night or does Malaika do the needful?
We both take turns. At times we are both awake. It’s fun and not so much fun at times. Like last night for instance, he was running a temperature and it was a worrying thing. I am a paranoid dad. I am worried about where he goes, what he eats...

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Copyright 2006 Martin D'Souza. All rights reserved.