After Neetu Kapoor, you will work with Ranbir Kapoor In “animal”. How was the experience?
I am looking forward to that. This is my next movie, I’ve already started preparing for it, and the look and scenes testing has been completed. I think we start on Sunday. The initial meetings were done and now I’m going into “Animal” completely. It’s my next movie, which I’m really immersing myself in.
I recently registered 39 years in the industry. How satisfying is this feeling?
Oh that was beautiful! I didn’t realize it until a fan told me that “Woh 7 Din” was released exactly 39 years before “JugJugg Jeeyo.” Can you believe it, in “JugJugg Jeeyo” I’m from Patiala and in “Woh 7 Din” I play a character who comes from Patiala and became a music director. So to be tradable, available, salable and filmmakers still wanting to work with me for 39 years is very encouraging, and it really felt like I worked hard at every step in life.
Everything I have with me, my family, my success, my children, my friendships, my relationship with my boss, it’s all hard work and I’ve given everything, and done it honestly. I made mistakes, but I learned from those mistakes. I tried to improve myself as much as I could, not just as an actor, but as a father, husband, son, friend, and team. I do my best to improve myself as much as I can.
How would you describe your four-decade journey?
Basically I faced the camera in 1977. So from 77 to 82 it was almost five difficult years, where I was doing big roles, I did some regional films and other films like ‘Shakti’, ‘Kahan Kahan Si Gozar Gaya’, ‘Rashna, Ek’ Bar Kaho, Hamari Tomhir, Pallavi Ano Pallavi. This was all before “Woo 7 Dean.” People don’t remember those but this was the patch where I would go from home to the office to work and audition for roles. At the time, they weren’t going to shoot auditions. You had to go to the office and show your pictures and act in front of them. I’ve been through this journey. That was a phase, but from 83, from the time “Woh 7 Din” was released, from June 23 until now, it’s been very exciting. And I hope in future projects I can keep that thirst for work.
Which movie do you regret turning down?
Yes, of course there are times when you feel like you had to say yes, but that’s part of any profession. Sometimes she makes movies, and others have turned it down. At certain times you gain a lot from these things. And there are times when it’s one of those movies that I said no to, and others have done it and gained, but there’s no regrets like that.
You will be serious. How do you plan to balance several roles in real life?
I enjoyed every stage of my life and was always on top. When I went to get married, everyone said, “Don’t get married, it’s too early to get married,” but I got married. When I had kids, everyone was, “You know, it’s too early to have kids” but I had my own kids. The children grew up with me and became my friends. And I knew I had to do what I did because a movie career is just a part of me, it’s not my whole life.
There are so many other things that matter – your fitness, your health, your family life, your respect.
Do you feel that your career in India and your career abroad were important in their own way?
When I go to a small village, go to a slum, travel internationally and meet the world’s top CEOs and stars, when they know and appreciate the work I’ve done, they give me respect. I think that’s what makes me happy. No matter where I go, where I go, from the highest classes to the intelligentsia to the people who cannot speak the language and who are the poorest of the poor, when they all give me love and affection, it makes me happy. Not only here in India, but wherever they see my work. I’ve made some movies that have given me a show, not only in India, but the whole planet.