Mumbai: There has never been dearth of praise for Shreyas Talpade's acting chops and versatility. The man who charmed the nation with 'Iqbal,' later went on to catch our fancy with his impeccable comic timing. In an exclusive chat with Deccan Chronicle, Shreyas spoke about his acting career, his debut directorial 'Poster Boyz' and the Deol brothers.
Was it a conscious decision to direct Poster Boyz?
I produced this film in Marathi in 2014 and essentially it was inspired by a true incident that happened in Maharashtra, where three coolies’ pictures were printed on the vasectomy poster. It is widely believed that vasectomy affects manhood. So that’s how the idea came to us, and encouraged us to make a film. It was a huge hit in Marathi. Later, we started writing in Hindi and took the script to Sunny paaji. I never wanted to direct it and always wanted to associate as an actor in the film. I approached a couple of directors but they were busy with their own films. Sunny paaji suggested I direct it since he liked my vision and convinced me to do it. Though I had thought I would probably start with a short film and later features but it happened unexpectedly.
Why did you cast Sunny and Bobby Deol in the film?
The kind of image Sunny paaji has is of a real mard but imagine this same man preach vasectomy; it is really funny. It is like James Bond on the poster of vasectomy. Right from Betaab to Ghayal Once Again, he has been a phenomenal actor. He is a very shy person and has given the highest grosser of all times, Gadar Ek Prem Katha and having paaji in this film gives a lot more credibility. The film isn’t about vasectomy being good or bad; it isn’t preachy at all. I want families to go and watch the film, since there is no cringe-worthy moment in it. Bobby was my first choice for the character he is playing. When I saw Chupke Chupke, I felt Dharamendra was cute in his role. I saw Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, where there is a small part in his character where he played this goofy guy and seeing that I thought of him. Though my team weren’t agreeing to cast him initially but I convinced them. I narrated the role to him and he suggested he would do a workshop. I told him to grow a moustache and wear spectacles. He liked his final look.
Were you nervous directing the Deol brothers considering their stardom?
Bobby is still kind of a friend to me but Sunny Paaji is a legend. I was very nervous to direct them. They are shy; don’t really know what is going on in their minds. On the first day of the shoot, I was very nervous. I had to take care of small things on the sets when Paaji is around. Funnily, he saw me stressed and asked me to relax and said I can take retakes. It was very sweet of him. He never questioned or interrupted in my work but his few suggestions were valid for the film hence I incorporated them. He made me comfortable.
Do you feel you have created a niche in comic space?
I don’t know actually. I am a little selective in my work. My guru has always taught me this that even if there is one person in the audience, I should be worth his ticket price. Certain films worked, certain didn’t but I got tremendous amount of love from the audience. I wouldn’t want to cheat them ever.
Do you feel that it is easy for you to bank upon Marathi films when Hindi films didn’t work?
I wouldn’t want to think like that. Else you tend to become a little more complacent. It is like people who are working take up acting as a part time job. I never want to do that. I want to give more than my 100%. I better make most of both the industries.