Manjot Singh talks to Manisha Karki about his recent film, Dream Girl, his character Smiley, his bond with Ayushmann Khurrana, playing the hero’s friend and more
How did you come on board Dream Girl?
I think to be very honest it’s not the actors who choose scripts but it’s the scripts that choose an actor. I got a call from the casting team and they said the role is very good. I went there for a look test. They just gave me a one-liner which says that there is a guy in the story who can talk in a girl’s voice. I found it very interesting and it was very impressive. For me it was like I should get this role. Also, before the look test, I was like I should get this role and if I would get it, I would definitely do it. So after the look test, I got selected and then I came to know that Ayushmann Khurrana is doing the film and I got so excited that I didn’t even want the narration because of his choice of films, the concepts that he chooses, the quality of work that he does it’s quite amazing. Finally, I was on board and I was very excited as I was happy to work with Ayushmann, Annu Kapoorji, Nushrat Barucha and also Raaj Shaandilyaa, the director of the film. He has a good sense of humour.
I have this quality in me that I never read scripts. I feel I am no one to judge anyone. To make a film it takes years, only to write a script alone it takes a lot of time, then there is the process of writing each scene and dialogue. So I feel I am no one to judge anybody’s hard work. It’s like I am telling a mom that your son is of no use. The way that a mom will get hurt is the same way a writer or a director gets hurt because it’s their hard work. I always work on the basis of vibes. If I get a call and I get good vibes, I just say yes to those films. I have never read the scripts of my films. Touchwood by the grace of God I think I am lucky that whatever films I did have performed well.
How does your character Smiley Singh fit into the role of the quintessential best friend of the hero in the film?
My character is a very smart guy whose name is Smiley. He always has a smile on his face and is witty. Smiley and Karam (Ayushmann) have been together since childhood. They have played together, the journey that started from childhood to them being young and practically inseparable is shown. The kind of special talent that Ayushmann’s character has, that he can talk in a female voice as well, lands him in many problems and at that point Smiley is basically that friend who stays with him till the end smiling.
You are working with Ayushmann Khurrana for the first time. How was your experience?
I felt very good. I was very excited and as I said before, I was very happy that finally I am doing a film with him because of his quality of work and choice of characters. I was thinking that after Badhaai Ho and AndhaDhun, I don’t know if we would share a good bond because with him being a star, it is a big thing to enter his space. So I was doing my takes with him and he was so humble and I thought that he is not a star but a normal person. I like that thing very much, he is very down to earth and very caring. We used to chill together during the shoot or have our food together in the vanity van. While we were together he told me many things about his life. He has had a great journey and has now reached that level. I feel a person will only achieve and get success when he is down to earth. It is a very good thing. I hope he does well in life not only because he is making the film industry proud but also because he is making the country proud as he has won the National Award now so it’s a big thing. So working with honesty is very important and then no one can stop you.