BOI: And what did you, as actors, discover about yourselves with this genre?
HQ: I think you grow with every film. Sometimes, you improve your craft, sometimes you improve your management skills, sometimes discipline, it could be anything. With this film, I definitely learnt how to… because both of us were working on this film… it’s just, I sort of realised how important it is to be a thorough professional, regardless of who you are working with. Because sometimes you could be working with a friend or your best friend, your sibling or someone from your family, and it is important to know that this is my relationship with the person and how I am not going to let it affect the quality of my work.
And horror is a difficult genre to do. I may have done another horror film but I just feel it so easy to overdo horror. There is a fine line between being caricaturish and being OTT, and just being real and being believable and cool and all that.
When international films come to India, they release in English and are sometimes dubbed in Hindi. However, when we decide to make a horror film, we think we need to dumb it down for the audience. We need to make it uncool and spoofy, almost caricatures that people will buy into it. When The Conjuring releases in India, we buy a ticket, make an evening of it and watch that film. So, there is definitely an audience for it. So, with this film, we are trying and it’s a test of our belief in whether a film like this will work or not.
BOI: Saqib, would you like to add to that? What did you discover about yourself as an actor?
SS: In the films I have done before, my characters were usually such jo kuchh bhi kahi bhi kabhi bhi bold deta hai, he doesn’t have a lot of thairav, he is slightly bubbly, thoda chulbula. But, in this film, I am playing a guy who has gone through a lot in life and there is a lot of angst in him. But he is not a guy who talks a lot, who has to verbalise everything, he goes through turmoil inside.
That was very difficult for me. Since I am a talkative person, I had to calm down a little. It is very easy when an actor has lines. Then, it is easier to express what is in your mind. But when you have to make people understand what you are going through with only your facial expressions and body language, it’s slightly difficult. I had to find that within myself. I really enjoyed working on this film, not only because I was working with Huma but also because, as an actor, it was something very different that I was approaching.
HQ: I want to add to what Saqib was saying. When Saqib’s first film released, Mujse Friendship Karogi or the second one Mere Dad Ki Maruti, in which he is playing a very bubbly guy…
SS: (Cuts in) I used to get offended.
HQ: …he used to be, like, ‘Hey, what’s up?’ And people would say, ‘Hey, your brother is such a natural actor, he is so real in front of the camera and I would be, like, ‘Huh?’ Ye to ghar pe bhi karta hai, isme kaunsi acting hai.’
SS: (Cuts in) Arre that also requires acting yaar, there is a lot of difference between what you do at home and what you do in front of the camera.
HQ: So, ya, he used to get very offended because everyone at home used to tell him that there was no difference between the way he was at home and the way he came across on screen.
SS: Just because you know me personally, you can’t say that in real life also he is bubbly, and so it’s so easy for you.
HQ: A lot of people are sher in life but when they face the camera, they are completely the opposite. So we were obviously pulling his leg but he took it seriously. So with this film, he is playing a character that is very intense. It’s a big departure from the kind of a person he is. Sometimes, in the scene, I used to be quite thrown and wonder why he was behaving like this.
SS: When I read the lines, I said, ‘Yaar, is ladke me to bahot thairav hai, ye kaise hoga?’ So I had started meditating and told myself to calm down a little, you haven’t played a character like this before. But it was fun doing this. Also, because it was with Huma, she is a fun co-actor.
HQ: (Teasing) I am the best. Main tumhari favourite hu. Just say it!
SS: (Teasing back) No, not my favourite. I will not lie in Box Office India’s office. Huma is not my best co-star.
HQ: (Teasing) You have said this in other interviews. They’ll get very upset if you lie.
SS: No, I have never said that. She wants me to lie.
HQ: Okay, so who is your faviorite co-star?
SS: I will talk about this later (Laughs). Right now, I have come to promote Dobaara, so how can I mention any other co-actresses?
SS: I have a film for which I have almost finished shooting; it is being made under the Pooja Films banner. It is a film that stars Taapsee Pannu and me. It’s a happy film and, no, there are no ghosts. It’s a romantic film.
HQ: Na bhoot na pret na bahen. (Laughs)
SS: I have almost finished shooting for that film. It’s still untitled otherwise I would have loved to tell you the name. Woh inshaallah end of the year aayegi. It’s a film I am really looking forward to.
HQ: Well Dobaara is releasing on the second of June and I am really excited. After that, I have an English film, which is releasing in India finally.
SS: My sister is going to Hollywood yaar.
HQ: It’s called Viceroy’s House and will release in July/August.