Manish Paul has always left us in splits with his impeccable comic timing and humorous punch-lines. Be it as a host of a TV show, an award show or films, his infectious energy and witty humour is always talked about!
With his upcoming film 'Tere Bin Laden: Dead Or Alive' releasing this week, Manish gets candid about his shooting experience, the most challenging part and why he believes that failure is a stepping stone to success.
Excerpts from the conversation-
Q.You are known to be a very funny man. So how much did you enjoyed while playing this character?
A.I loved it. People had loved the first part (Tere Bin Laden) and that film had performed quite well at the box office. So after that when I was offered this role I read the script. I heard just a liner from Abhishek Sharma and I was like I am doing this film. You figure out how we will do this. And that's how this film got made and I had a blast while shooting for this film.
Q. Was there any pressure on you since the first film was well-received by the audience?
A. No, I didn't feel pressurized because I was just doing my work. Yes, there is definitely some kind of pressure being the male lead and taking the franchise ahead. I did feel that but that too very late when someone told me about it. I was just enjoying shooting the film. I was happy that I was the hero. But at the end of the day what matters is a well made film with good script and performances.
Q.How was your experience working with Abhishek Sharma?
A.It was quite amazing. He is a great director. He has extracted good performances from us that too from actors like us which is quite remarkable. He taught us minor details about comedy. He has an impeccable comic timing which was quite important for this film. We had a great time.
Q.What was the most challenging part for you?
A.I have travelled a lot for this film which was quite challenging as I was shooting for 'Jhalak Dikhla Ja' then. I was to wrap my film shoot at night, drive to 'Jhalak' sets and sleep there and shoot for the show in the morning. Apart from that there was nothing quite challenging as we had already rehearsed a lot for our scenes. We then realized the importance of rehearsing as it led to us giving performances.
Q.You are known for your comic timing and great sense of humour. But then apart from that did you take any special training for your role?
A.I do a lot of comedy on television. So I had to make sure that it doesn't get repetitive. I was initially scared like this even during 'Mickey Virus'. But yes, our director Abhishek gave us minute details and he even made me direct a short film.
Q.You play a director in the film. So do we see you going behind the cameras in real life too?
A.You never know that. I would love to direct one. I used to sit with my director even when I had no scenes to observe things on the monitor. I like that procedure.
Q.What do you enjoy most, hosting shows or acting?
A.I like doing both. In fact a lot of people watch my films because they love me on television. So I think that's a hand-in-hand relation. Even my fans want me to host shows.
Q.So how difficult is it for you since hosting is supposed to be very spontaneous and is quite different from acting?
A.You need not be loud in films on on stage you have to be loud. So I keep these minute details in my mind. Also I feel these things are now automated in me. I become a very different person, both on stage and on big screen.
Q.After 'Mickey Virus' and 'Ranbanka' this is your third film. You take your own thing to sign films. So is there any specific reason for this?
A.I want to sign good films from whatever films I get. Otherwise there is no point in doing them. Honestly I didn't get any mind-blowing script. In between there was another film which we were planning to make but it didn't happen. It was a very good script and I still have it. In fact I have told that director who is a newcomer that we will definitely make that film. My character in it is completely grey. We had even started few preparation for the film but things didn't work out. So I wasted about 6-7 months in that while I was waiting. But I think all I would is a good script.
Q.Do you prefer doing comedy roles more?
A.I am an actor and I want to do all kinds of roles. Be it a negative role, that of a hero, comedy or action.
Q.What was that one thing which drew you towards this film?
A.Firstly the script is awesome. I instantly gave my nod when I heard just a liner from the film and the script wasn't even ready then. I loved the idea. And obviously because it's a hit franchise. I have a comfort level with Abhishek Sir. When we started talking we realized that we both hail from Delhi and have studied in the same college. I didn't knew that he was my senior then. So all that factors worked in our favour.
Q.Every actor has ups and downs in his life. So what do you learn from your failures?
A.I have learnt that one must do his job well and don't think too much about failures. I talk about good things and leave failures behind. I like to look at good things. I move on fast.
Q.You are known for your infectious energy just like Ranveer Singh. Where do you get so much energy from?
A.Ya I have a high level of energy. I sleep on time, workout regularly and pay special attention to my diet. I think it's about the way you look at life. I don't get depressed by things and enjoy my life to the fullest.
Q.How was your journey travelling from small screen to big screen?
A.It was awesome. My first film 'Mickey Virus' performed fairly well. I underwent major transformation and focussed on my physique. The first time I won the 'Best Debut' award in front of Mr Bachchan I felt very good. But I never neglected television after joining films. I believe every medium is good. Aso I have achieved all this because of small screen.
Q.People have loved the trailer of your film and there is a lot of buzz around it. So what do you think people will take back from the film?
A.People will take back a lot of laughter. They will have a good time. We ain't giving them any message in this film. You just come and enjoy. But it's not a stupid illogical comedy. It's the story of the guy I am playing called Sharma. He is the protagonist of the film. The film revolves around his journey to become a director.
Q.Films which are sequels or a part of a franchise; some work and some don't. What are you expecting from this?
A.Every actor wants his film to do well. I am also hoping the same and want this movie to be super hit. All other things are not in our hands. But I don't care much about hits and flops. I always stay in my happy zone.
Q.Have you got any feedback from the people from the industry after watching the trailer?
A.Ya, we got very good response. Touchwood, I was very touched that everybody tweeted be it Madhuri Dixit or Rishi Kapoor Sir. In fact I met him that same very night where I was hosting the Mumbai police show. Every actor there who came on stage said that they saw my film's promo and enjoyed it. Shah Rukh Sir praised a lot. He makes a lot of fun about me and 'Mickey Virus'. He was like now even you are becoming an actor and I am telling everyone to watch your film. So I felt good about it.
Q.What projects are you working on next?
A.I am doing a film called 'Katha' which will be directed by Khaled Mohammed. So now I am working on that. Apart from that I am doing a film called 'Baba Black Sheep'. I am also hosting few award nights or will do some reality shows on TV.