How did you landed up with Kaminey? When I met Vishal he said- Shahid I want to do my version of a commercial film. He made me hear 2-3 concepts and finally, he said about his favourite concept- twin brothers with speech defects. One stammers while the other one has lisp.
I found this concept to be very exciting, as two actors talking in such a manner can be very interesting and at the same time, it can win them sympathy. Vishal said that he is trying to attend to the genre, which is of a caper, or a pulp film, that has never been touched in Indian cinemas.
Why the title Kaminey? Even I asked him (Vishal) the same question. He felt that this title represents each and every character in the film. Everyone is fast and naughty. There is a bit of negativity in each one of us in the film. Nobody is totally innocent.
What is the USP of the film? The speciality of this genre is that, on one side, it’s very real, but at the same time it’s high on glamour and entertainment.
There is a story which has been incorporated in the film, the experience of Guddu that is shared with Sweety in the movie. This happened due to some situation during his childhood and for more you need to wait and watch the film.
Some part of it is taken from real life, which was narrated to me and Vishal. We were so moved by the story. We have tried our best.
How important is this film for you, and what kind of expectation you have from it? I am very hopeful that audience do appreciate this film, because this is a very different film for me and Hindi Cinema too. This film is very important for me because it took lots of gut for me to do this. Though it is in commercial format but the presentation, music, the look of Charlie, etc... I have never worked on that space.
Do you think audience will accept you in this avatar? Audience have seen me in Jab We Met, Vivaah, Kissmat Konnection and they are used to see me like that, a romantic boy kind. A new door will open for me if people accept this film and my character. Also, this will give a new format of entertainment to the Indian audience.
There are movies like Lagaan, Chak De India, which are based on different subject and we do need to have such kind of films.
Personally I feel our creative space is very limited, and the more we can open-up, the better it will be for our industry. I feel inspired to do such films. This builds the confidence in us that audience is ready to accept different kind of movies, but only when it is presented well and can connect with them.
Is it risky to play such character after Jab We met? Yes, it has a flip side to it. If it goes wrong it will be considered a mistake, and if it goes right it will be a huge success. Audience like being surprised, but if you surprise them in a very terrible way then they will not enjoy it.
It was a challenge but we are happy with the response the promos are getting. It was obvious that the first promo will decide the fate of the film, and fortunately it did get a good response. The struggle was to do it in a way which can convince the audience.
What kind of preparations you have done for your characters? How easy or difficult it was for you to switch from one to another character? For this I had to work a lot especially on my body for a year. The stammering of Guddu is very difficult and we wanted to make it look real, not a caricature.
As you all know Vishal is very particular about such details and thus together we met many ENT specialists, speech therapist to know how a stammer talks, what is the process, technically and mentally.
We also met some people who have problem of stammering in the special club made for them at Bandra. Alongside I had to work on my body a lot for a year and so, had to sacrifice on food too.
Talking about switching between the characters- both the character we shot simultaneously at the same place. To go from one character to another was very difficult as, one would say Fa while, other would stammer.
How was it to work with Priyanka? On one hand I felt that she is a good actor before doing the film, but after it, I discovered- she is an excellent actor. I feel she is right now at a creative high with doing the best performances of her career. It was challenging for both of us.
I applaud her for that because she had a new character to play, as she plays a Maharashtrian character. The experience of working with her was very accelerating and she brings lot of positivity on the sets.
She is a team player which is very important for an actor. You can make out that she is there to do a good film, not just to do roles.
There had been talks about you seeing Priyanka and then later it was reported that you broke up? Ahh! Why can’t you people stop talking about it... I just know one thing that I don’t need to clarify what it was and what it is, as I have been linked up with all my co-actors; but that doesn’t mean that I am seeing all of them.
It was heard that Vishal has approached Saif Ali Khan for this role? That’s something you should ask Vishal, as I am not here to clarify anything on his behalf. Its fantastic role and I don’t believe that anyone can say no to it.