Audiences will soon get to watch the actor playing host on his chat show again, which he says has become bigger and better in presentation, with a touch of freshness to it. In addition to his brother Salman Khan, the show will has new guests, including Ayushmann, Kiara Advani, Ananya Panday, Tiger Shroff, Rajkummar Rao and Jacqueline Fernandez. In fact, the opening episode of the new season of the chat show, which began streaming from 19 July, had Salman Khan as Arbaaz’s first guest.
Q Why did you not take Salman as one of the celebrities in Season 1 of the show?
You know, even Salman had asked me why I had not invited him to my first show as a celebrity. I think I wanted to do it myself, without taking any help from him, and maybe I was overthinking. But Salman liked watching the first season and wanted to do the show for the second season and was very happy about being on our show. Therefore, we decided to open the first episode of Pinch Season 2 with Salman. Also it’s an Eid release; we have never done such shows. In the episode, you will see the camaraderie between us brothers. And since I know him so closely, I could get away asking him some spontaneous questions, all of which he’s answered.
Q How was it shooting with the prevailing COVID restrictions in place?
When the first season is appreciated, the bar is already set high. We’ve tried not to be repetitive. But even so, we were lucky to have done the shoot when the COVID regulations were relaxed although even then the COVID did cause restrictions on the set.
Q How was the show conceptualised?
Through most of my work, I have probably done more negative and strong roles. One day, however, Sumit Dutt, the founder of Quplay and creator of Pinch Seasons 1and 2, came up to me and said, “Your humour has not yet come to the fore, let’s do a show that brings out your humour and fun element.” We had to convince the actors but we were mindful of not creating any controversy or controversies being the reason for the show to be discussed. We wanted people to like the show and respond to that like.
Q How challenging was it to host and convince the celebrities to come to your show?
It was challenging. I’ve known many of the celebrities, and some have been my colleagues. We ask certain sensitive questions, which may be embarrassing for them to answer. However, we tried asking it with a dollop of fun and made the show interesting. Even so, it was not easy to get answers from the celebs sometimes. First, I tried with actors I share a personal equation with, such as Sonakshi Sinha, Kapil Sharma, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sonam Kapoor, which eased out my stress. Now, we’ll be approaching the younger lot — Tiger Shroff, Ayushmann Khurrana, etc., who have agreed to be the guest.
Q What was your criterion of choosing your guests?
We have relevant celebrities in this season, just as we did in the first season. Also, the actors were not too busy, given the pandemic situation, so we got them. All of them, fortunately, have been open to be on our show. Then again, we don’t put them in any tight spots. They share whatever they want to say about things being written about them.
Q Why do you think celebrities do not want to be criticised?
Actors who want appreciation are happy to face the public. When they don’t get appreciated and are subjected to backlash they go into their shells.
The tagline of the show, which is Socho samjho phir comment (Think, understand and then comment). And even as we will try to educate people, we won’t tolerate negativity. Our show hopes to become a platform for celebrities to speak out, especially on what is written about them.We plan a third season, too, and we’re thinking about getting celebrities from other professions. The third season will be far more relevant.
Q Have any of the celebs in your show refused to answer any of your questions?
The celebs told us to ask questions and they would answer it. But let’s not forget that the show is not an interrogation; it’s an entertaining and a fun celebrity show. We are not here to teach and preach. We ask relevant questions. Nothing has been forced, and all the celeb guests responded to questions they were comfortable
Q Would you like to thank your trolls for this show? (It does talk about social media and trolls).
We have not made this show to stop the trolls. That will not be possible. Criticism and negative feedback are essential. But the problem arises when something is done with intent or when someone hits below the belt without any justification and unreasonable stuff. I am not saying one shouldn’t criticise the films I make or act in. You have paid for the tickets and if you haven’t liked the film, you can trash it. Professionally criticising is fine. But those who begin trolling families, criticising their looks, body shame, etc. have crossed a line. Today, social media is becoming become accountable. Earlier, only the actors, known celebrities, were answerable for what they wrote or said, but that is going to change now. It’s important for actors to be responsible and do the right thing and they have
to pay the price of being a celebrity, for a small
deed of theirs.