How did you think of getting into the entertainment industry?
Actually, it was not planned. My entry was accidental. Though I was a studious child, my focus was always on extra-curricular activities. I got my first assignment when I was in the 8th standard and then projects kept coming.
Share with us your work experience till now. Which was your debut project?
My debut film was Tera Mera Saath Rahen(2000), followed by School (2003) and 3 idiots in 2010 which got me recognition. Apart from these Bollywood projects, I have also contributed for many regional (Marathi) movies.
After getting into Bollywood why did you chose to do regional television?
In fact, that is where I have from. My journey into this glamour industry was never planned. I took up projects which came to me. I accepted them and did not choose any particular industry or projects. I just went with the flow.
How did you get the 3 idiots cameo, that too without any auditions?
Vinod Chopra had earlier auditioned me for his film 'Lage Raho' which never saw the rising sun but he remembered me during 3 Idiots and he found me suitable for the role. And that's how that film happened. They did a few look tests but no such auditions were held for my character.
Talking about 3 idiots, how was the experience working with Aamir Khan?
I have no words to express it but I would just say, in a sentence, that it was great working with him and on the film overall. Towering personalities are always humble and down to earth, so is Aamir Sir.
How do you feel when people recognize you and call you millimetre or centimeter?
As I said earlier, 3 idiots was the project which gave me recognition. I would say people calling me Millimetre and Centimeter boosts my sense of responsibility and being an artist it's always an encouragement to be recognized by the characters you have played.
After getting fame through 3 Idiots why did you decide to take up a Hindi daily soap?
I am not a person who plans. Whatever comes my way, I take it up if I feel good about the project.
What is so special about your role in Na Tum Bole Na?
My character in Na Bole Tum… is very interesting as I am playing Guru in the show and as the name suggests, I am a philosopher, a guide to Mohan (Kunal Karan Kapoor). In fact he is the "Inner Voice" of Mohan.
How is it working with producer Sudhir Sharma and his production house?
Being into any daily soap means a hectic schedule which somewhere affects the quality of the show and the actors. The only way to maintain its quality is the atmosphere and the comfort level of an actor. And with this production house, I feel quite at home, it's like one family. Automatically, the comfort level is very high and Sudhir Sir and his team subtly ensure this.
What do you think are the qualities required for being an Idiot?
According to me, Idiots are always 'different.' So if you ask me what is the quality one requires, then I would say that you just need to be different.
Who is the real Idiot on sets of Na Bole...?
That would be me!
Why you are not seen in any film post 3 Idiots?
I think, instead of me, film producers should be able to answer this question.
By Tejashree Bhopatkar