Actor Paresh Rawal loves challenges. He took one when came on board Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee-starrer Shastry Virudh Shastry. He had to fill Soumitra Chatterjee’s shoes in the Hindi remake of his Bengali film Posto. In a chat with Hindustan Times, Paresh Rawal reveals he intentionally decided to never watch the original film.
Paresh tells us, “I haven’t seen Posto willingly. I am a big fan of Soumitra Chatterjee. Phir woh jo karenge woh dimag me aise chipak jata hai ki you cannot get rid of it (once you watch it, you cannot get rid of his performance). He was a fantastic actor.”
Paresh Rawal on Shastry Virudh Shastry
Shastry Virudh Shastry also stars Neena Kulkarni, Shiv Panditt and Mimi Chakraborty, and released earlier this month. Paresh says the film was a big deal to him. “I really loved the story and I found it relatable. The relationship between a grandparent and their grandkid is quite emotional and much more profound than between the father and son. This is a family entertainer and quite rooted. Something you can watch with your family. It’s real and you won’t find anything fictional,” he adds.
Paresh Rawal on doing family entertainer
The Hera Pheri star often opts for films that can be enjoyed by cinema-goers with their families. Does it mean it’s his conscious decision to do anything but clean, family films? He answers, “Yes, it’s a conscious decision. I hate any kind of vulgar content. Mujhe aisa kuch bilkul acha nahin lagta hain. A lot of our families were stuck at home during the lockdown and the kind of films that were releasing (on OTT)…bewajah gaaliyan aati thi…it made no sense. Now where will families go with all of their stress? Mujhe toh ghinn aati hain… main aise subject se toh dur hi rehta hu (I don’t like anything vulgar, with needless abusive language. I feel disgusted so I like to stay away from such content).
Working with Mimi Chakraborty and Bengali actors
In our previous conversation with Mimi Chakraborty, the actor said she had no problems while working with Paresh Rawal despite their political difference. Likewise, Paresh heaped praises on the Trinamool Congress leader. He says, “Mimi is such an easy person to work it. She is such a big star but there was no baggage. I thought she was Bengali so there would be some kind of problem (with the language) but she came thoroughly prepared. I enjoyed the time. Bengali actors ke sath maza bohot ata hain kaam karne mein (It’s always fun to work with Bengali actors).”
Regional actors working in Bollywood and vice versa, has undoubtedly created a smooth harmony in Indian cinema. Agreeing with it, the 68-year-old actor cites an example, “Konkona Sen Sharma is a superlative actor. You get to learn a lot from these people. There is a very healthy atmosphere on such sets.”
With Shastry Virudh Shastry, Paresh Rawal has double reasons to celebrate as his film Aankh Micholi also released at the same time. Brushing off claims of competition between two of his releases, he says, “It’s not about competition but I just want both of them to work. Both are different films. They are meant for family.”
Hera Pheri 3 and Welcome 3 shoot
Paresh Rawal has several much-awaited sequels lined up. From reprising his iconic role as Baburao Ganpatrao Apte in Hera Pheri 3 to starring in Welcome To The Jungle (Welcome 3) as Dr Ghungroo, he has a lot to keep up with.
Teasing fans with an update, Paresh reveals, “Hera Pheri 3 will arrive next year, somewhere towards the end of 2024. The shoot will begin next year.” “Welcome 3 shoot will start by the end of this year, and it is likely to release in May-June. Both are huge films,” the actor adds.
Paresh also briefly commented on the chances of a new instalment of the Hungama franchise after a dull response to Hungama 2. “Hungama 2 thik nahin ban payi (the film wasn’t well made). For Hungama 3, you need a wonderful story. You cannot just encash the sequel or the popularity of the first part.”
Paresh Rawal’s take on awards
Before Shastry, Paresh appeared in films like Dear Father and Sharmaji Namkeen which received warm reception from critics, but no recognition at award shows. The senior actor with no regrets, says, “When it comes to awards, neither am I conscious nor curious. I am not passionate about awards. Whenever a knowledgeable person like you appreciates my work that is my award. Rest, even if I don’t get an award it’s okay. Aisa nahin hain ki award mila toh hi…woh zamana chala gaya (awards are no longer a recognition). In fact it’s the other way around.”
Many might already know Paresh Rawal is a rare guest at any award show in B-town. He explains his reason, “What do I say no? I don’t understand it. For example, if it’s an award for best actor, I don’t believe anyone is best or inferior. Everyone is best. Everyone is a different actor. Nobody is superior or inferior.” “If you want to select the best actor, just give them the same role and then decide who did the best. Every role is different; how can you select which role is best? All roles are different and each other has its own style,” he argues.
Paresh Rawal: I have not been a part of any camp in Bollywood
Towards the end of the conversation, the actor looks back at his decades-long career. Having worked in 240 films so far, he shares what he is most proud of in this journey. He says with a smile, “I have made myself and my career on my terms and conditions, without becoming a part of any controversy or problem. I have not been a part of any camp. Only made it with my sheer talent and the audience’s love. I don’t care about struggle because things that you get easily never give you satisfaction.”