Excerpts from the interview:
How different will your birthday celebration be this year?
I think the year 2020, was very difficult for everyone. I got to spend a lot of time with myself and my family. I introspected a lot, made changes for my personal growth. So, my birthday resolution would be to spend atleast 2 family holidays every year, and those holidays will have to be without work, spend more time on my personal growth and on myself.
What are your childhood memories of celebrating your special day with family?
I think every birthday celebration is very special and every year it’s a different vibe but I think last to last birthday I was shooting in Amristar and I was celebrating my birthday while I was working there. My hometown in Jalandhar. So, all my childhood school friends, they came down to Amristar and surprised me. I am mostly in touch with all my friends but a few of them also, with whom I had lost contact, came over and I think it was really sweet and special.
How would you describe your Bollywood journey?
Touchwood, with the grace of God, ofcourse life has changed after ‘Chhichhore’. The kind of appreciation that the film got, I am very very thankful for that. The industry is definitely looking at me in a different light now. Firstly, I think I’m blessed that people think I am an actor with great comic timing. I feel blessed that I could make people laugh and smile. A lot of different characters and a lot of different genres have started flowing in and I’m looking and exploring for more options.
Do you believe that it is difficult to get recognition in the industry?
Yes, I truly believe that there is no substitute to hard work in any industry. To make a place for yourself, to get recognition and all the love and warmth from your audience requires you to get up and strive each and every day.
If not an actor, what profession would you have chosen?
I was kind of fascinated towards aviation. But yes, if not an actor, I would definitely be doing something in and around the technicalities of cinema.
You will be working with Rohit Shetty in ‘Cirkus’, how has the experience been so far?
It has been a phenomenal experience. I think it’s a blessing to get to work with Rohit sir. He is an amazing director and more than that an amazing human being. Working under his guidance, has been like how you inherit a lot of things in life from someone and implement it in your life later. It’s a very beautiful feeling, waking up and coming to Rohit Sir’s set. I want to thank him for giving me this opportunity, to letting me be a part of this movie.
Did you interact with Ranveer Singh on-the-sets?
For Ranveer, I have found a brother in him. His energy his charisma his warmth, he showers it to the next level and during the span of a few months whether on set, on calls, we share a lot of music, I make him listen to a lot of Punjabi music. I can talk about anything, be my stupid self and I’m so so lucky to have a really really great friend in him. I hope this bond of madness keeps growing through our entire life.
Who is your favourite Bollywood actor?
Mr Shahrukh Khan! It was because of him that my dream to become an actor came true.
Which director would you like to work with in future?
Mr Rohit Shetty. I’m super grateful that I got to work from him in 2 films. I wish and pray that I keep getting to work with him. Another director, that I really want to work with would be Rajkumar Hirani, sir.
What kind of movies attract your attention?
Every kind of cinema. I watch different genres. I watch cinema of all languages.
Since cinemas have reopened with 100% capacity, does that make you feel happy? What are your thoughts on the same.
It’s the most beautiful thing that has happened and it’s the biggest part of good news that I, as a part f the film fraternity has got. I’m really excited to go visit a theatre and have that whole experience after an entire year.
What do you have to say on working in ‘Fukrey 3’?
I am super super excited for ‘Fukrey 3’ It’s the film that I debuted with. ‘Choocha’ was the first character that I portrayed and returning back to the 3rd instalment of it, with the entire crew, I can’t express how happy I am. ‘Fukrey 3’ is going to be even more more funny and it’s going to be a blast. I just can’t wait to be back with the team and start rolling with it in the entire madness.
What are your film plans for 2021?
There are a lot of things rolling out this year. ‘There’s RuhiAfza’, then ‘Cirkus’, then ‘Fukrey 3’ and a couple of other things. I really hope I can make people laugh and smile and entertain them throughout the year. It’s going to be a fun year. So, yes it’s going to be a busy 2021.