It’s been 11 years since he began in films with “Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai.” Though not in the superstar league of his dad Jeetendra, Tusshar Kapoor has made his mark in the “Golmaal” franchise, different films like “Shor in the City” and “Khakee” and even in the risqué home production “Kyaa Kool Hain Hum,” whose sequel will release later this year.
With his new film, “Char Din Ki Chandni,” the actor also turns co-producer and plays his first dual role. Or is it one man masquerading as two? Tusshar Kapoor, in an interview in the producer’s office, suggests we watch the Samir Karnik-directed comedy that stars Kulraj Randhawa to find out. Excerpts from an interview:
Q: You are playing a simpleton and a typical Sardar, right?
A: (Grins) And they are poles apart! Veer is the sorted out, well-mannered boy from a royal family, while Pappi is the uncouth Sardar prone to gaali-galoch (abuses) and very loud. The action takes place in the four-day marriage festivities of Veer’s sister and he smuggles in his girlfriend from abroad. All the fun and games, drama and “jhol” (deceptions) happen then, because Pappi loves Chandni, played by Kulraj, while she loves Veer.
Q: You had quite a time learning the ethnic gaalis, we hear.
A: (Laughs) Absolutely! Can you imagine, I actually went through a workshop just to learn how to spout expletives? Firstly, I barely know Punjabi. Then a free and natural flow of the abuses were needed to be convincing. This could not be done by cramming and spouting out the lines! So I was coached by Samir Karnik, who is a Maharashtrian, but more Punjabi than most Punjabis as he had lived most of his life in Delhi! Samir’s magic we have already watched in “Yamla Pagla Deewana.” Then there was Kulraj to look after the authentic touches like how I wearing my turban, and also my accent, as she is a Sikh.
Q: What made you have a stake as a producer here?
A: The set-up including the supporting cast was excellent. The script was fantastic. A small share in the theatrical proceeds would help make my ends meet! (Laughs) Mujhe mein karodon mein kamaana hai, yaar! (I too want to earn crores!). I have anyway decided to produce every type of movie, but primarily entirely commercial. Just like Silk in “The Dirty Picture” states, “Entertainment, Entertainment and Entertainment!” But the idea is not to strategize and to get to do the roles that I am not getting outside.
Q: How do you look back at these 11 years?
A: I have a long way to go. Having said that, I did manage what I never would have imagined at one point: films like “Shootout…” and “Shor…”. People liked me most in comedies and I even got some awards. So maybe I don’t know what are my real limitations.
Q: But you have always been choosy. Why so?
A: I think that I have been choosy since 2004 — till that time I did some really terrible films! Ab main apni auqaad ke hisaab se film karta hoon (now I know what I should and should not do). “Char Din…” after a long while, for example, sees me as a proper Hindi film hero, which I have been so far only in my debut film, “Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai.”
Q: Solo leads have been rare from you in your better phase.
A: Yes, I have learnt to be careful and calculated. I can take risks when the supporting cast and director are really good, but not get foolish. Today, the people judge a film exclusively by the promo — sometimes the promo just does not work and they just stay away even if the film is good.
Q: A past master at the public pulse is your sister Ekta Kapoor. Why did you not join hands with her as producer?
A: She has her team in place and she is always there if I need her or her advice. All her films have been like my films and now “Char Din…” is being promoted on her top-rated show “Pavithra Rishta.”
Q: What is coming up now?
A: I am playing the role of Sheikh Munir, who was Manya Surve’s right hand, in Sanjay Gupta’s “Shootout at Wadala,” the prequel to “Shootout at Lokhandwala,” in which I had played another gangster. Besides this, I only have my sister’s “Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum,” the sequel to “Kyaa Kool Hain Hum.”