His was the least expected entry into Bollywood.
Maine Dil Tujhko Diya, Krishna Cottage and Lakeer fell like ninepins but that's okay with Sohail Khan because Salman bhai declares, 'Mujhe Sohail ki filmein pasand hain'.
The actor with a cool head and 'chilled-out' ways talks about his comic gamble as Katrina's lovable neighbor in David Dhawan's golmaal, Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya.
Salman & David Dhawan- hit Jodi. But what's Sohail doing in here?
Sirji, how did you land this role?
Nothing to worry, I feel more of a producer connect rather than an actor connect with Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya. David's comedy is very strong; I wanted to make that comedy look larger-than-life. Sone par suhaga karne ki koshish thi, that's how I became a producer.
Secondly, I am about to direct a romantic comedy myself, so working on a David Dhawan film is the best tutorials I can ask for. I never even intended to act in the film, but David Dhawan coaxed me into doing it.
What did David say?
Well, when we drew the first draft of the film, there was this character of Pyare Mohan that had evolved and while we were thinking as to who would be the ideal cast, David off-the-whack asked, 'Sohail, tu kyun nahi kar leta?'. I was initially apprehensive about it but then did it for the reasons I just told you.
Besides it saves monies too, huh?
Pyare Mohan ki mazedaar baatein
So what's Pyare Mohan like?
He is a struggling actor from a small town. He is a complete idiot & happens to be Katrina's possessive neighbor who Salman has fallen for. The problem arises because Pyare constantly feels that this guy is a fraud and is cheating on Katrina. It is a mad-mad film. The most confused comedy you could have ever seen.
Do you relate to your character?
Not at all, I am the exact opposite of Pyare. While he mad, loud and garish, I am an introvert. I like to keep to myself and rarely open up. I am soft-spoken & sober, very unlike Pyare.
And what according to you makes Pyare's character funny?
Pyare is a funny character by nature. But I had to be careful that I hit the right balance. Onscreen humor is quite like telling a joke to someone in real life. You shouldn't be so subtle that the person doesn't understand it, neither so loud that you end up hamming. I have tried to portray Pyare like that. Let's see if audiences agree with me.
Having a blast with Bro'
What was it to work with Salman?
It was great! I initially had a 10-day shoot with bhai. But when David saw our chemistry, he stretched the shoot to another 5 days. I even got a bonus song with bhai too. So it's been absolutely wonderful!
As a producer, would you have still picked Salman for the role?
Yes I would have because he is among the few stars who ensure you a recovery. He has huge star pull and can get audiences to theatres. Besides, he acts very well.
So did he help you out with production?
He is super busy with his shoots, there is hardly any time for him to invest in production. But I do feed him production updates whenever possible. He has an air-tight schedule which leaves him with very little time for anything else, I don't blame him.
What have the women been like?
Both Sushmita & Katrina have been terrific to work with. The same applies with Rajpal Yadav, Arshad, Beena aapa and Ishaa Koppikar.