BY Rahul Raut
How is ‘Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive’ different from the first part? What should audiences expect from this spin-off?
It’s different. It’s called a spin-off, not a sequel because the story is completely different. The two films are not attached. The part two doesn’t start from where the part one ended. So that’s why we are calling it a spin-off and not a sequel. I think it’s more funny. There are more characters in the film. The storyline is completely mind blowing and that was the reason I signed the film. I loved the idea of how this guy which I am playing (A. Sharma who wants to become a director) takes the film forward. People will see that how part one was made so that’s what we included in part two.
‘Helicopter silent hai…’ scene is creating enough buzz everywhere. How was this concept developed?
Yes I am very happy with the way the helicopter scene has picked up. I think it was the idea of Abhishek Sharma. He wanted to write a scene like that. In fact ek scene aaya tha between Mehmood saab and Omprakash saab, that was our inspiration for this scene. But all those sounds that I’ve put was my idea. I just came out with it and Abhishek said that I loved this so whenever you’re doing this scene, do put that. But yes I was very nervous for this scene because I think it’s a huge monologue for me and the only one talking in the entire scene, rest everybody is just reacting. Thankfully, it happened in one take. I had prepared myself too much for that. Mujhe dar bhi tha but nervousness me kai bar acche kam ho jate hai. I had great time performing in that scene.
Coming to your personal life, you started out as a radio jockey then VJ, then did television soaps, comedy shows, hosted reality programs and now finally in films, how do you feel about your journey so far?
I think the journey so far has been wonderful. I’ve no regrets. I came to Mumbai ten years back. I came in 2005 and so far the kind of love I’ve received from audiences I am damn happy with that. The kind of love the industry has given me I am very happy and I feel I’ve more to give to the industry. I feel even more charged. Yes, I was an RJ, VJ, did television soaps and comedy shows. But hosting reality program that I think was the game changer for me. When I started hosting especially ‘Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa’, ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’, ‘Dance India Dance’, that time people realised that he can host, he can do much more. A lot of people in fact told me that you can now leave television because you are doing films now. But I still feel that whatever I’ve got – the fame, the kind of work I’ve got, the love from people, that has been from television. So I can’t ditch that. I’ve got my movies from television so I don’t feel like ditching the medium. It’s a huge medium. A lot of people who are doing movies are getting in to television, they are hosting shows now. So I am happy balancing in both the places.
What would you say has been the toughest phase of your life? How did you overcome it?
The toughest phase has been the year 2008. That was the year I decided that I wasn’t very happy doing television, the kind of shows I was doing, the kind of roles I was being offered. So I consistently took the decision that I don’t want to work in daily soaps, especially as I wasn’t very happy with the roles. So that was the year I took a consistent decision and I was sitting at home for one year doing nothing. I just got married one year back and it was a difficult time. I didn’t have too much money. But thankfully my wife really really helped me and supported me in my decision and said “Don’t worry. I am here and I will take care of things”.
That one year main kapde dhota tha, iron karta tha and was taking care of home and my wife was earning. That was very difficult because first I was feeling that I’ve got her to this city, I’ve made some promises to her so I need to keep all those but it was not happening and I was feeling broken down sometimes.
But thankfully my wife supported me a lot and she didn’t let me give up on the situation. She said, “Don’t worry! Do what you think is good. Do what you feel like doing”. Because I can’t do what most people do just earn money and come back. I like to work where I get creatively satisfied. So that was the very very tough period because sitting at home for one year is not easy at all.
Darshan Rawal recently said in an interview that something special with Manish Paul is lined up. Would you like to tell what is that?
Yes, he said something and all I can also say that there is something special but right now we would like to keep it a surprise. But definitely this year, something is gonna be out. With Darshan and me together, it’s gonna be fantastic.
What else will audiences and fans get to see from Manish Paul this year?
This year, ‘Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive’ is definitely there and I also just finished shooting for a movie called, ‘Katha’ which is the remake of the old ‘Katha’ and it’s directed by Khaleed Mohammad. That film is under post work right now so let’s hope wo jaldi complete ho. Hopefully it should be ready to release this year and people would get to see that film. Apart from that I am doing another film called, ‘Baba Black Ship’. It’s a father-son’s story. Anupam Kher sir is playing my father. In fact, I am shooting for it right now. And yes, reality shows also should be there. I haven’t signed any shows exactly yet but I try to do one show every year so that I can keep my audience really happy because they love to see me host also. And I promise to them that I would try my best to host a season. So let’s see which one is that.
Fast & Furious round
What’s your motto in life?
My motto in life is very filmy, sorry but that’s how I am. I am very filmy guy. So my motto is: “Jio muskurao khush raho.. Kya pata kal ho na ho”. I never sleep with a fight in my head. If there is any problem with someone, I talk to him and finish it and then only I go to bed because I believe you should sleep with a happy mind and that’s how I like it.
Salman Khan’s ‘Sultan’ and Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Raees’ both are releasing on the same day this Eid. Which film would you watch first?
Let’s see – whoever invites me first and I’ll definitely go for that screening! I don’t know but I can’t choose one right now so I should wait from where I get the call first.
Who is easier to handle – wife or girlfriend?
In my case, my girlfriend who was my girlfriend for nine years, became my wife. So I think girlfriend and wife both are easy. I never had a problem. And thankfully I am blessed to have a partner like that who is so understanding and helps me out with everything. So I think I am very sorted with that.
One Hindi film dialogue you regularly use?
“Sher Jab do kadam peeche le… toh iska matlab yeh nahi ki wo dar gaya…”