The nawab is ecstatic about his recent release as he talks to SHUBARNA MUKERJI SHU about his filmy culinary experience
• How much have you taken home from your Chef experience?
I cannot say that is has changed me as an actor, but I did learn a bit of knife work thanks to the film. Needless to say, I have a newfound respect for a chef’s job, it is a high-pressure job. But then, that’s food, it is serious matter – no matter which strata of society you belong to, you want to ensure that the food is good. They say the mark of a good production house is good food, that says a lot doesn’t it. So well, as such it has been a wonderful experience…
• ….but nothing life altering. Tell us, do you take your food seriously?
To an extent!
• What kind of food works best for you?
I like light food, I mostly prefer home cooked meals, not really into rich food. Dal–chawal is good for me. I like bhindi too.
• Now, that’s soul food!
You can say that, but you see, I have studied in a boarding school, so I can survive on anything.
• Did you see Jon Favreau’s Chef, how much did the film inspire you to accept the role of Roshan Kalra?
I did see the film, but I prefer not seeing the original. Havi said that, Chef as a film has a very indie premise, the film does will within Indian understanding. Also, we have changed a lot too. There are many times, Bollywood films just copy another film, which is didn’t in Chef. Ours is an adaptation of the original film, so while the skeleton
on the script remains the same, more or less, a lot has been changed.
• Do you believe that Indian audience still likes their films to be larger than life?
There is an audience for all kinds of film. Ours is a very real film, the acting real, not loud. Like I said it has been adapted for the Indian audience, meaning we have put in elements which the Indian audience will relate to, the whole North and South India factor, the differences and more.
• You have often been appreciated in films that showcase you as a real – everyday person, as opposed to a larger than life figure…
I am trying to figure if that’s a compliment.
• I just feel that this phase in Bollywood works really well for someone of your sensibilities, hence it should be a compliment.
You know, over the period of time, you change as person. I think I have become a calmer professional, not so edgy anymore. Today, when I go to the sets I have a single-minded agenda, I want my director happy. Let’s accept the fact that this is director’s vision, if we comply with it, rather than making it an ego thing it is in the interest of the film which should be the larger picture.
• What happens, now, post Chef?
A lot of things, content, creative content is very diverse today. It there was ever a belief that smaller the screen, the vision is also smaller… that is not the case. There is lot of good work happening and I am glad to be a part of this phase. Basically, what happens next, a little holiday and a lot of good work.