DECIPHERING A CHARACTER
According to you, what should be the ideal image of a Bollywood Bad Man? In my opinion, it requires a fantastic actor to play the bad man. With limited screen time and eventually losing out to the good, it requires a tremendous actor. It’s also about making the audience believe in you, even knowing the fact that this is fictional. I believe all the past super villains have been the greatest actors ever in India cinema. I chose to be a villain. I am a villain out of choice.
Didn’t you fear being typecast? I didn’t fear typecast. I created typecast, by refusing positive roles. I wanted to be typecast. In think only weak actors worry about typecast. The actors who don’t have the strength or the courage to drop stardom and go out and experiment, they are the ones who worry about this. I knew I could build only a certain amount of stardom and recall value because of creating a Bad Man brand. As a trained actor, gutsy and hard working, I knew that the day I want to break it, I will break it. And I did that. Look at the performance I gave in I Am Kalam, it bagged me a National Award. And many such other films.
Did you ever want to play a Hero? There were instances where I was offered the hero’s part, but I didn’t want to. I do play roles today which are as big as that of a hero, but back then, I never wanted to play a hero.
Nowadays, the villains have gone. We have grey characters instead, sometimes even played by the hero. Is the character of the archetypal Villain dying out? The majority of writing is done from society. What has happened is, in real life, those kind of distinct and completely black characters have disappeared. Also, be it a Mogambo, Bad Man or a Gabbar, in today’s times in the presence of the law, it is difficult for these guys to exist. The Law will catch hold of these guys. Today, the definition of bad has changed. gotten confused. Somebody who is entrepreneur somebody or something else are all doing bad things. Secondly, when you are cast for a role today, along with the role, you also see the coverage you will get. A lot of casting today is to create buzz amongst the media. Many directors got cast as villains in films, because the makers thought that the followers the director had would help the film, but the films didn’t do well. I am sad about that. Like I said, to play a villain, it requires a great actor. It can’t be done by a part-time actor.