Which is the best compliment you received for ‘Radhe’?
Well, honestly, the best compliment I received was when I was shooting for the film. Salman sir started giving me that look with a smile on his face, “what are you doing in types?”. I was scared and asked for his review and he said, “too good”.
How would you describe your relationship with Salman Khan?
I respect him a lot! When we used to meet regularly, I formed a good rapport with him in 2019. After that we began this professional relationship with ‘Radhe’. I am happiest to have him and his friendship in my life.
You decided to debut with the villainous character. So does it bother you that would get typecast into such roles ahead?
I don’t think so much actually! I love movies so even if you get a solid, impactful role in a film then I will take the opportunity. So going ahead also if I am offered interesting villainous characters in Bollywood or South movies, I would love to play them. I love to play negative characters or a movie like Badlapur, where the hero has a grey shade.
You recently mentioned mistakenly hitting Salman Khan during an action scene. Were you scared after the incident?
I was very scared at that point! It was not a big action sequence but we were in a position that my head hit his chin. But Salman Khan turned it into a comic episode with his stern look. I now remember it as a funny episode!
You started off with TV and your show Diya Aur Baati Hum was a hit. How has the transition from TV to films been for you?
I started TV when I was 19 years old! I joined it because I wanted to understand if I can work. I learnt a lot there as I preferred to do atleast three shows at the same time. Fortunately I was getting plently of offers and I always had work. For eight years I worked in the TV industry, I would shoot 25 days a month. And with films, they need one shot artist who doesn’t waste time and delivers a good shot. So I studied that for a long time, I had planned to learn the art and then enter movies. I did get a few offers in between, but they were not well produced ones so I didn’t sign them. This is the first film that is a very well produced one, with a grand release.
Salman Khan’s films, when they release I theatres, are like a festival for fans. So were you disappointed or disheartened that ‘Radhe’ released on streaming platforms in India?
I had watched ‘Dabangg 3’ in a theatre and it was actually like a festival, that atmosphere is totally different. But technically he is such a huge star that even if his films release on OTT, he is capable of breaking records. I recently watched the movie and going by all that I am reading online, I feel that the film is decently made. It is entertaining and it is nothing like the negativity that is being created by fan pages of other actors. I would just request everyone not to create rumours which would divert people. The earning from this movie are going to be donated towards COVID relief, so it is going to help, so people should spread positivity.
Radhe gave you that perfect launch in Bollywood, but were there any other offers that you had to turn down?
No such thing happened. To be honest, only one man came forward to help me and that is Mr Salman Khan. Definitely I have offers, even now I have been approached for two films and two web series, but I don’t want to get into that old space where I sign up something and then it does not release well. What is the point if I’m the hero of a web series or film and it does not release well and you can’t see my work? You can see my work on Instagram and I don’t care about Instagram that was not my dream. When I was 16-17 years old, my dream was to be a film actor. I am happy now that people are appreciating my role in ‘Radhe’, even if it was a small role. In the future also, I will sign only those projects which are well-produced and well-released. I know I will lose business but then I have been losing business since a very long time. I feel one should not work only for the money, but follow your heart.
Any actors or directors on your wishlist?
I want to work with Aditya Dhar, Sriram Radhavan. I am a huge of Shoojit Sircar sir, years ago I had done an advertisement with him. I was 21 years old and I shot for it Aamir Khan sir. He is very sweet.