Abhishek, why this prolonged hiatus from the screen?
I think I wanted to move back and see the quality of work that I wanted to do in the future. It was a time of….
I wouldn’t say churning. No, I’d say … revaluation, reassessment. During this slight hiatus I took stock of my weaknesses and strengths and zeroed in on the kind of work that I wanted to do. Of course I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I won’t make those mistakes again. But I won’t shy away from making new mistakes. I’ve a bright new team to help me.
How did Manmarziyan become your first film post reassessment?
It was not planned. Manmarziyan just fell into my lap. Aanand Rai whom I’ve known for years, asked me if I wanted to do a film with him. I’ve always liked Aanand’s work . So I immediately agreed to hear the script. Aanand then sent the writer Kannika Dhillon to me to narrate the script. Our first meeting convinced I wanted to do this film. Kannika had so much confidence in her script and the characters. She wasn’t dazzled by the thought of getting stars into Manmarziyan.
Apparently Kannika had already zeroed in on you, Vicky Kaushal and Tapsee for the three leads in Manmarziyan?
I’d like to believe this. Vicky and Tapsee were on board before I came on. When I was considering the project I wasn’t sure who the director was. Was it Aanand Rai or Kannika Dhillon? I wanted to know. It was then that I got to know the film will be directed by Anurag Kashyap. I was like, ‘Ok, interesting.’
Were you looking forward to working with Kashyap?
His films , no matter how dark, are always something above the ordinary. But this time in Manmarziyan Anurag Kashyap has not made a dark film. Manmarziyan is a light happy film. It is a new experience for Anurag, and for me. So in many ways we were both exploring new facets of our personality through this film.
Are you as happy with Manmarziyan after its completion as you were when you started out?
Even happier. The film is a completely new experience for me. I’ve never played any character like Robbie .And I’ve never been a part of a film like Manmarziyan. I love the way Anurag uses silences in the film. I’ve always believed a performance is bolstered not by dialogues but by what is left unspoken.
Anurag is so happy with your performance that he has signed you for another film, this one with your wife?
You mean Galub Jamun? No, Anurag is only producing that. It is being directed by a new director Sarvesh Mewara. This one is a little way off before starting. I am doing another film which I am not at liberty to talk about before Gulab Jamun. But yes Gulab Jamun is as sweet a film as it sounds.And it’s always a pleasure to work with the Missus. Every time we’ve done a film together it’s been special. I am confident Gulab Jamun would also be a treat.
How do you manage to remain so calm on twitter even when you are attacked viciously and personally?
It’s something I don’t think about much. The whole idea of making offensive comments is to provoke a reaction .I won’t play into their hands. See, I am open to healthy criticism and debate. If you make a reasonable criticism I am all for it. But if you lash out just for the sake of being nasty, I am not going to indulge in mud-slinging with you.
What about Dhoom 4?
What about it? I’ve neither been approached for Dhoom 4 nor do I have any information on this. Until Adi (producer Aditya Chopra) tells me about it I’ve no idea of Dhoom 4.