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LONDON: Bollywood’s very own chocolate boy Imran Khan, who debuted with the superhit Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na in 2008, is now ready to show fans his Haryanavi avatar. Starring in Vishal Bhardwaj’s unusually-titled Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola, Imran Khan will be playing Matru, a law graduate who is the right-hand man of Pankaj Kapur (Harry Mandola) in the film.
The 30-year-old actor, who has acted in successful films such as Delhi Belly and Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, spoke about his soon to release film Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola, his co-stars and why the movie may court some controversies.
On getting the role of Matru
Vishal actually called me after Delhi Belly to say that he loved the film and my performance in it. He expressed an interest in meeting me. I didn’t take that seriously, thinking why would Vishal Bhardwaj want to work with me.
I was later amazed that Vishal actually wanted to work with me. I heard the script, I cried, I laughed, it was awesome. Still I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do that role because of the Haryanvi dialogues. I was not comfortable speaking Haryanvi and felt I made a big mistake and should back out. I asked Vishal if he was sure about having me in the film. But, he had faith in me, even when I didn’t.
On speaking Haryanvi
The film is set in Haryana and required me to learn the Haryanvi style of speaking. I didn’t want to sit in Mumbai and learn the dialect because it doesn’t happen organically. So, I went to Delhi and hung out with some boys from Rohtak in North India. It was easier and more natural for me to pick up the style of speaking Haryanvi this way.
On working with Vishal Bhardwaj
His style of directing surprised me. He gave a lot more freedom to the actors than I expected. If during the take, you decide to do something different, he lets you do that. He liberates the actor and puts a lot of power in the actor’s hands.
On the lip-lock scene with Anushka
It’s awkward when you are kissing someone who you are not romantically involved with because it is a very intimate act. Normally you do it with somebody who you are very close to, but here you are kissing someone who you don’t know that well.
On sharing screen space with heavyweights like Pankaj Kapur
Pankaj Kapur can be a very challenging co-star because he improvises a lot and he pulls out new things as they happen. You have to be in the moment with him, you have to be ready to pick up on his inventiveness and take it forward.
On the taboo subject of the film
It’s a very taboo subject. Not controversial, but people can find a way to make it controversial. I’ll tell you what will happen, one week before the release someone will find a way to make it controversial, someone or the other will get offended, just see.
On box-office expectations from the film
Actors have to worry about their work and not money. Producers are the guys who have to worry about the money. There are films which have done massive business and nobody has liked them. To me, it is important that people should remember my films 20 to 30 years down the line. I should be proud of doing a film. Money will come and go, what matters is what people say when they talk about you.