As a newcomer making his debut in Rajkumar Santoshi’s Bad Boy, was it intimidating to work with the director of Ghayal, Damini etc?
Rajji is very particular about what he wants from the actor, and he asks for multiple takes. I trusted him from the very first day; he is an actor’s director. I particularly loved Rajji’s comedy, Andaaz Apna Apna. It was a brilliant film.
Did you know Rajkumar Santoshi earlier as Mithun Chakraborty’s son?
No. In 2019, when I came back from a holiday in the USA, I became conscious that I had no work. Within a week’s time I began auditioning in earnest. And I stumbled upon Wacky, the Executive Producer of Inbox Pictures. A week after I met Sajid Qureshi, the producer of Bad Boy, he asked me for another meeting. Main pahunch gaya. As soon as I entered the office, I saw Rajkumar Santoshi and I was completely tongue-tied. Rajji said, ‘I did not know Mithun had a son besides Mimoh.’ I broke into a wide grin. We did a photo shoot and a few workshops and within two-and-a-half weeks I signed the film.
What is your USP according to you?
My hair (smiles). I love my hair even if it looks all tousled right now because I just got back from the gym. The other four qualities that make me stand out are my can-do attitude towards life, my determination to get to where I want to, my ability to focus and my love for films. I know everything about films. I see a lot of international films top. Movies are not only in my DNA; they are literally in every pore of my body. I never get bored of cinema.
And you also review movies…
I wrote 2700 plus film reviews in a span of nine years for IMDB. I enjoy writing about films; I can’t write about anything else. I tried poetry, I tried shayari. I was not happy with the outcome. I shared it with friends and family, they said ‘No no, it’s not working.’
Among the actors, who were some of your childhood inspirations?
I was born in Mumbai but I spent a large chunk of my formative years in Ooty in the 1990s. I remember watching The Mask back in 1995 and I was like: Who the hell is this guy? I was gobsmacked by Jim Carrey’s performance. Later, I also formed a deep respect for Peter O’Toole’s work.
In the Hindi film industry, other than my father, I am a big, big fan of Govinda. I am fanatic about Chi Chi, and I think Shah Rukh is one of the greatest superstars the country has ever seen. I wasn’t a fan of many heroines but I loved Kajol and Madhuri Dixit. From the current generation, I think Alia Bhatt is a brilliant actress.
Are you a bad boy in real life?
People tell me I am a good boy so I’ll take their word for it. According to me, I am a simple and decent boy who is notorious in my own way (laughs).