“My weight has never been a hindrance to my career”
The roly poly comedian with a difference talks to Jyothi Venkatesh about his role in the film 2016 The End in which he plays one of the four leads.
Is 2016- The End our first film as an actor?
No. I actually had made my debut way back 13 years ago with Ramgopal Verma’s film Darna Mana Hai even before I started my stint on television. My co-stars in Darna Mana Hai were Nana Patekar, Anil Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty, Sameera Reddy, Gaurav Kapoor, Boman Irani etc
How did you get a break in films?
I do not belong to a film family. I hail from a Marwari business community. While I was studying in Narsi Monji College in Juhu, I was acting in plays directed by Mahendra Joshi, husband of Aamir Khan’s sister Nikhat. Sharman Joshi was my senior in college. My play All The Best in Hindi proved to be very popular and I travelled all over the world with the play in which co-actors were Vrajesh Heerji and Iqbal Azad.It had over 400 shows in different parts of the world
How did your tenure on TV start?
It was with the serial Hatim that my stint started with television. I did quite a few TV shows including FIR which had the longest run. I also did over 500 episodes of Akbar Birbal, which I am doing even now. Right now, besides The Kapill Sharma show, I am also a part of the show Akbar Birbal
FIR proved to be the turning point in your career as an actor!
It did prove to be a turning point in my career but I felt I had to get into a bigger zone as I felt that I was doing the same thing day in and day out and failed to get the status of a celebrity which the show The Kapil Sharma Show gave me instantly
You play one of the leads in the film 2016 The End!
Yes. I play one of the four leads in the film 2016 The End. I play the son of a Godman with a vast empire of his own. I took up the offer because I wanted to do something different. Divyendu Sharma, Harshad , Priya and Rahul Roy are my co-actors in the film which is directed by Jaideep Chopra
What exactly is the film about?
It is a thriller cum romantic film. We are told that the world will end in just seven days. When we stumble upon a car and tones of money, we decide to go to Goa and party, with Rahul Roy who plays a Don chasing us since the car and the tones of money belong to him.
Were you ever uncomfortable with your body?
I was never uncomfortable with my body. When I started my career, I weighed a little less but yet not thin but yet I never considered my weight a hindrance to my career. I realized that comedy is a very niche market with limited people, who can do real comedy. Comedy is very difficult as it is about how you deliver a joke. Comedy is about timing.
Is the fact that you happen to be fat a hindrance to your career as an actor?
Your physical appearance should never be the reason why your confidence level is high or low. You should not let your morale go down because of your physical appearance. I did receive a lot of offers to act in films but then steadfastly I put my foot down and said no to run of the mill roles or the roles of just a comedian.
What was your experience being jailed for your act?
It certainly was not a pleasurable experience doing an act in the show Jashn E Ummeed for Zee TV. My comedy act did not go well with a section of the followers of the Saint. I was upfront to say sorry to people who found it offending though it was not my intention. All that I can say about this is that you should not take life seriously.