What made you take up Bhoomi as your comeback film?
It's a great script. It is about the beautiful relationship that a father shares with his daughter. It is an emotional story, and has a lot of middle class values. Plus, Omung Kumar is a great director. He is very focussed, passionate and dedicated, he knows what he wants and knows filmmaking I enjoyed working with him. While acting, I used to draw references of Priya's (his elder sister) relationship with my father.
We heard that rapists face a lot of negativity in the prison (the film deals with rape). Did you ever meet any such convicts and what was your experience?
I used to get very angry when I saw rapists in the jail.। can imagine what must have happened to those girls who had fallen prey to them. That's why I could relate more to the film.
Heard you read a lot of religious texts during your tenure in jail?
I read religious texts and I am a believer of Lord Shiva. I read books on Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesh, Mahabharat, Ramayan etc. I participated in the plays that we did in jail and I taught them voice modulations and gave them acting tips. I also turned Radio Jockey for them. We had a team of eight people and we would discuss on current topics too.
What message would you like to give the youth of today?
Always be in touch with your parents. I have made mistakes I spent less time with my family. When you don't communicate with your family you develop a communication gap and children too don't open up to their parents nor do the parents talk to their children and that leads to trouble. Even parents should try to spend more and more time with their children. I lost my mother very early in life. I couldn't spend more time with her. I was never scared of my father, I was in awe of him. I had always seen him like that. I would never raise my eyes and look at him. So, I could not open up to him. I could have lessened the gap but it never happened. Parents can stop their children from going wayward. It's not necessary that you have to be strict with them. Take care of their security. See whom they are going out with and whom they are meeting. Be updated about their everyday whereabouts.
Do you think Industry is very unfair and friendships don't last here?
I have been here for the last 36 years and I have not faced anything like that. I have been friends with everyone here.
You have never been a part of any controversy, you have always been composed and calm?
What is there to lose your temper. I don't think there is need to lose your temper over anything.
Directors are approaching you with roles specially written for you?
I am happy that I have moved on and am doing cinema that I have been waiting to do. Mature roles are being written for me. I can no longer play young college roles.
A biopic is being made on your life. Is there any biopic that you would like to do?
I have not thought about it. There are so many personalities, I would like to do something on freedom fighters, especially the sardar soldiers of the British Indian Army.
Do you have any insecurities in life today?
I have never been insecure, though I faced a lot of ups and downs in life. It all depends on how do you deal with it.
How was Aditi Rao as a co-star?
I enjoyed working with her, she is a very simple girl and very talented.
Would you ever want your children to watch your biopic?
Yes of course I want them to watch it. I want them to know what kind of life I have led. The film is being made on me and I am sure they will watch it someday.
How do you rate yourself as a father?
I don't think I was a bad father or son. I have tried to do the best for my children. In many ways, I try to emulate my father. I try to spend as much time as I can with them.
Is there anything that you treasure in life?
For me my only treasure is my family, including my sisters, especially their safe being. Nothing is more precious than their well being.
Will we see you entering politics in life now, what about campaigning for your sister?
No politics, I am not interested. I am done with it. Now my focus is my career and I want to concentrate on that completely. I have no plans of campaigning for my sister. I don't want to be involved in it.
Behind every successful man is a woman, Manyata has always stood by you rock steady?
Every successful man or grounded person has a wonderful wife. She has always stood by me in my ups and downs. She is the anchor of my life.
When you are the peak of life loneliness sets in, how did you deal with loneliness?
I was never on the top. I have been through so much in life. There is nothing to be lonely about . I have a wonderful family who have always stood by me. There was never a moment of loneliness.
What about your forthcoming movies?
I am doing Omung Kumar's The Good Maharaja which is based on the life of Maharaja Jam Sahib Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji , then there's director Aarambh's Malang, Director Tigmanshu Dhulia's Saheb Aur Gangster 3 and lastly Torbaaz.
We heard you are also doing Remo D'Souza's next?
No, I have not signed any such film.