SG: It was very difficult for me. Sometimes, I had to check if I was wearing lipstick. As an actor, I have to play various characters. I live with one script for that moment, for that day, and at that time I play just that character and am that character. I think, for actors like me, TV is a tougher medium, for working hours. For the TV show I do, I go on stage and do it all in one go. Here, you have the advantage of retakes. The director is clear about what he wants to make and it’s much easier for you.
BOI: You have worked in the in industry for a long time and you have gained recognition too. Do you think it is a good time for actors to be in the industry, for the type of content being made?
SG: I don’t know about other actors but it’s a good time for me. Of course, budgets are different. I feel that if you have a good story to tell, good actors and good technicians, it will work.
BOI: People have been watching you for free on television for a while now. Do you think they will pay to watch you in a film?
SG: They will see me as I am, without make-up, a disguise or a wig. But I have been lucky with the kind of work I have got. I have always been in disguise. When I meet people I don’t know, they say, ‘I have seen you somewhere?’ That’s where the lucky part comes in. Here, I will be my regular self but, more than me it’s the story, the kind of film, the subject and the way it has been shot that will hold the audience’s attention.
Vinod Ramani (VR): I was excited for this film because of Sunil ji. Initially, I was in talks only with Vishal. When Sunil Grover’s name cropped up during casting, I said, ‘You can start tomorrow.’ I have always been a huge fan of Sunil Grover. I did not do any calculations when Sunil came on board.
SG: There has been a glow on Vinod’s face ever since the first promo released. Before that, he was very tense. He was in Nagpur and we were chatting online and it was then that I realised how happy he looked. The promo has received 30-35 lakh views and he is on cloud nine. I wonder how he will react if the promo hits 50 lakh views.
BOI: The trailer has received a fabulous response. People were not aware of the film and suddenly the trailer released. What is the audience response to the trailer?
SG: I have been travelling a lot and hearing different points of view. People are really thrilled to watch the trailer.
BOI: In the last few months, there have been many big films that haven’t done well. In addition, there is an obvious cash crunch due to demonetisation. Are you afraid that this might affect your film?
SG: Swipe your card and watch the film. The tagline should not be ‘Bomb ka badlaa beizzatti se’, it should be ‘Swipe your card and watch the film’. People who want to watch the film, will watch it. And it is the first release of this year. So if you don’t watch this film, your whole year will go like that!
VM: The concept is good. Dangal has proved everyone wrong, especially since everybody thought it was all over, even Dear Zindagi did well.
SG: No one can watch this film with ‘Black Money’.
BOI: You have done a regional film in the past. Are you planning to do any more regional films?
SG: I have not been offered many films, just two to three, but I didn’t have the time as I was committed to the preparation for this project. But I would love to do one, if I come across a good script, good director, good producer.
BOI: Where do you see your career beyond Coffee With D? More movies, comedy or television shows?
SG: First, I am an actor. I would do anything, male, female, kid, old, from patient to healthy people. I don’t look at whether it’s TV or theatre. Wherever I think I have the opportunity to achieve a goal, improve as an actor and get a chance to entertain the audience and be paid, I will do it.
BOI: What about you? Where do you see yourself?
VM: I just finished my second film, I wrapped it 20 days ago with Kunaal Roy Kapur and Rajesh Sharma. It’s titled Hum Honge Kamayaab. It is the first film to be shot entirely in Kanpur. I have signed one more but can’t talk about it right now.
SG: I hope it brings a smile to people’s faces.
VM: I have said everywhere, that people love Sunil. This film is like a show reel for Sunil’s acting talent. And he doesn’t have a single comic scene, except for one bit which is only half-a-second long. Even the trailer doesn’t have any comedy; he is just being himself.