Gone are times when the maa and pitaji in movies were stereotypical roles that required them to weep at the drop of a hat. In new-age Bollywood, parents are not only hip and cool, but also crazy hilarious. And this is evident in the recently released film Mubarakan. In conversation with Bhakti Mehta, talented actor – Pawan Malhotra – shared his journey about playing a modern-day parent.
ON THE BRIEF
The movie actually came to me three years ago, when I was approached by the writer but nothing happened after that. When it came to me, once again, Anees Bazmee had added his style to it, and Anil Kapoor was on board. When I heard my role, I knew I had to do it. As an actor, I wouldn’t have passed up this role because I am not always known for this genre. People forget that I have done movies like Jab We Met, Badmaash Company and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, where I had very light roles. I had to play a Punjabi in this film too but the approach and body language had to be different.
ON HIS ROLE
My character basically had raging anger and was feared by his kids. This anger defines the crux of the film and a conflict erupts when he fights with his sister. I did not have to act in a slapstick way in this film and my anger was the biggest part of my character. I had to just go with it, go with the script. I am really happy that it is a clean, family movie. I don’t always have to do socially relevant movies. It is very important for me to do different roles.
ON THE CHALLENGES
There weren’t any challenges. Everybody worked together as a team and we had done our homework. The only challenge I can think of is that sardi bahut thi. It was freezing while shooting in London. But the producers were really good and handled everything so well that none of the team members were even aware of the production challenges.
ON ANEES BAZMEE DIRECTOR
I worked with Anees Bazmee for the first time. He is a director who can maintain the same level of energy on the sets from 9 am to 9 pm. He always explains the scene personally to every actor in the frame and also tears up during emotional scenes. He knows just how to bring out the best in his actors and every single person in the cast will say that they had a blast shooting with Anees Bazmee.
ON HIS CO-STARS
This is the first time I had worked with Anil Kapoor too. We had not really met before, except when he called me after watching Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. What I like about him is he is totally into his work, and is passionate about it. Still, at this stage of his career, he is enthusiastic about every shot. That is very encouraging. The whole team was dedicated to their work, including Arjun Kapoor. Everybody, from the actors to the director, to the writers, kept working till the end, kept improvising till the end. Everything works out perfectly when a good team comes together.
ON THE AUDIENCE
Since we really enjoyed making the film, the audience has really enjoyed watching it too. People have told me that they have watched it more than once. And they like that it is a family movie. They said that even though the movie was a comedy, they became emotional during some scenes and had tears in their eyes.
ON FUTURE PROJECTS
After this, there is Judwaa 2 with Varun Dhawan. The role is different from the one I played in Mubarakan, something people didn’t expect me to do. I am also doing a film with my Road To Sangam director Amit Rai. Then there is Veena Bakshi’s next. I am shooting something with her till December. I also have other plans with the same writer after January. I believe in destiny and that I will end up where I am meant to be.