We were all amused to see comic actor Arshad Warsi [Images] lose his cool when a journalist asked him, for the ninth time, "Anthony kaun hai [Images]?" at a party hosted by director Raj Kaushal in Mumbai. "Why should I tell you?" the witty actor shot back. "Go and see the movie. Do something, spend some money." When people around stared at him blankly, he broke into a laugh, saying the question was the very essence of the film.
"I play a forgery artist who makes fake passports and identity cards in a foreign land, as he has no other means to make money," the actor says. "He is saving money in the hope that he will settle down some day, but life has other plans for him. Everything starts going wrong. The police is after him, as are some goons, and he doesn't even know why. How it figures things out and solves the problem is interesting."
What made him sign the movie? "I loved the story," he replies. "It's one you hear rarely; 90 per cent of the rest are run of the mill. Raj Kaushal is a good technician and gives you freedom to express yourself as an actor. He makes the film look good. I am scared because I play the lead though. My career is at stake, to a certain extent."
Speaking about the film, he adds, "The first frame of the film is actually the last frame. The story goes back and forth. It is an intelligent film and you have to watch carefully or you may miss the plot."
In response to a question about why he does just comic roles, Arshad says, "Munnabhai MBBS worked and people came to us with those kinds of roles. I am doing one or two comic roles but will now consciously avoid sticking to one genre. Don't expect Anthony Kaun Hai to be a comedy. It is a thriller, with some light moments."
Next for Arshad and Sanjay Dutt [Images] comes Lage Raho Munnabhai [Images]. Will the audience experience a Sanjay-Arshad overdose? "The audience loved Munnabhai..." the actor replies. "What we are offer in the next two movies is completely different. No matter what film we are doing � a comedy, thriller or anything else -- you will see the chemistry. Also, there is no connection between Munnabhai... and Lage Raho... It is a whole new story. Think of it like the Bond movies; you have James Bond [Images] as a constant character, but the stories keep changing."
Speaking about the changes he has gone through in his career, he says, "Your sensibility, maturity and understanding of the profession changes with time. But, as an actor, you don't really change. I think I am as bad an actor as I was in my first film. I have just become smarter now and expect a lot from the work I do."
Arshad will next appear in Kabul Express [Images], where he plays an electronic news cameraperson who is held hostage along with John Abraham [Images], who plays a journalist. The film is about their journey from Kabul to the Pakistan border. "It is the most unusual film," says Warsi. "Now that it has been selected for the Toronto Film Festival, I am looking forward to going there between September 7 and 17 with my wife and son."