In 2004, Paresh Rawal was approached by an unknown ad-filmmaker for his debut feature film. Rawal did not have the time, and turned it down. He still regrets the move.
The film, Khosla Ka Ghosla, directed by Dibakar Banerjee, went on to become a huge hit, and people loved Anupam Kher in the character that Rawal might have played.
"I still feel sad that I could not play the role of Mr Khosla," says Rawal. "The script was good and Dibakar's passion to tell the story really impressed me. I knew he would be a bright star."
But life always gives us a second chance. When Dibakar asked Rawal to act in his next film, Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye, he did not hesitate. The film also stars Abhay Deol and Neetu Chandra (one of Akshay Kumar's three loves in Garam Masala). Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye will see Rawal in a triple role!
"This is the first time in my life that I am playing three roles and I am happy that I got this opportunity," says Rawal. He plays a conman and insists that it's a ' very believable character.'
Is it contrary to his funny-man image? "I am an actor," Rawal says. "I go by good roles. If you look back on my career, I scared a lot of people with my villainous role in Naam. Comedy or villain, the role does not matter as long as it is challenging."
So what does he think about conmen? "In real life, your first meeting with a conman is always good," Rawal smiles. "He is a sweet talker and you will be suitably impressed. My character is somewhat like that of a sweet-talking conman."
He is all praise for his co-star Abhay Deol as well. "You see the kind of films Abhay has done -- Manorama Six Feet Under, Socha Na Tha and Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local -- they all are superb. He is brilliant. One of the most promising actors in the industry today," he says.
Shivam Nair, who directed Abhay in Ahista Ahista, is currently making a film based on one of Rawal's plays, Maharathi. "I'm happy to see that. I cannot ask for more. Theatre is my first love," he says passionately. "It keeps you grounded. It is good if newcomers have a theatre background. It helps in films."
But for now, Rawal wants 'good roles.' Quite tough in an industry which 'lacks good scripts and dialogue writers.'
"An actor can give his best shot but the script and dialogues have to have punch to make it more effective," he says. "I hope we get good script and dialogue writers in the industry. It's one of my sincere wishes."