Your ‘figure’ is giving the girls a run for their money! Happy?
[Laughs] I was aspiring to compete with all the heroines and spoil their peaceful sleep with the fear that I would compete with them on celluloid.
How much of help did you take from your wife?
I didn’t take any tips. As actors, we constantly observe people and we work on our observations. I also tried to ignite the female energy in me. Since I have done a lot of theatre and also did voice modulation for radio, picking up a girl’s voice wasn’t a task for me.
Who did you imbibe these feminine qualities from?
I have been surrounded by strong women — whether it’s my wife, manager or co-actors — they are all strong, empowered women. Being with them gives rise to feminist thoughts. For this role I was inspired by Dream Girl Hema Malini and also Madhuri Dixit. I wanted to follow their feminine mannerisms.
How much has that feminine quality become a part of you?
It’s nothing like that. I switch off and switch on very easily. I don’t take the character home. The calmness and patience of the feminine element is there in a man and should balance us. It will make our society a better place to live in. We should not overpower the male energy in us though.
Was it difficult to balance both the genders?
Maintaining a balance between the genders was important in this film. I feel every man has the feminine energy in him. And women who feel empowered exhibit assertiveness. It’s the mark of a strong woman.
Will you play a transgender role, if offered?
I would like to do a transgender role, but I would like to say that if the subject is to be depicted on screen, an actual transgender person should be cast in that role. It’s customary during the Dussehra festival, when Ramlila is organised, for boys to play Sita and Draupati. This has been taught in Natyashastra as well. I think it is common in our country.
In the 90’s this kind of a subject couldn't be made. Do you think your film merits a personal explanation?
Our film is an entertaining one with a bit of slapstick. But we have come to a progressive point where we can screen every kind of film. The grammar is different now. On OTT you can be more experimental. Theatrical releases are made for a wider palette. This divide has been introduced recently. I think, we have progressed and it’s a good sign.
What is happiness for you?
Happiness is achieving a fine balance between contentment and ambition and between professional and personal life.
Talk to us about turning challenges into opportunities.
My filmography has been a huge challenge. It was very different in comparison to the conventional Hindi films. I faced a huge challenge cementing my place in this industry. I found it hard to get content-based films. But I turned those challenges into opportunities and made a niche for myself.
How do you maintain calm in this hyper world of glamour?
I am a calm person and I don’t lose my temper even at home. That is because of the way my parents brought me up.