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    Sep 2011


    Default I donít like vulgar comedy: Johnny Lever

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    Johnny Lever was at his wittiest best when we caught up with him on his recent visit to Bhopal for a film's shoot

    You were in Bhopal some 10 years back. How did you find the city now?
    Bhopal is a very beautiful place and the people here are very loving and friendly. Yes, I had come to Bhopal ten years back and I'm glad this place has developed so much in terms of infrastructure. Moreover, it is amazing how it has still managed to maintain its originality. This is also a reason filmmakers are choosing to shoot their film here. This city was earlier iconized by the character of Soorma Bhopali from Sholay. Aur kuch nahi toh woh toh sabko yaad hai.

    What you do when you are not in a mood to do comedy?

    Many a times it happens that we are not in the mood to do comedy but we still have to do it, because it's our work. I remember my sister had passed away and during those days, I was busy with a hard-core comedy film. It was difficult initially, par yeh jo andar ka fankar hota hai usse koi break nahi chahiye hota, woh sab kara deta hai.

    Didn't you ever try experimenting with a negative role?
    See, if people like you doing a certain kind of roles, they won't easily accept you in any other role. Even if you try something else, it's like gambling, so why to take a chance? Haan, ek baar I had got a chance to play a negative character in which I had to rape a girl. But I refused to play the role because I knew that I wouldn't be able to do it. If I'm not comfortable doing something, I'll refuse the role altogether. I don't work to add extra stars to my repertoire. And anyway, I have done over 400 comedy films now. Ab toh main kuchh nahi bhi karoon toh log mera chehra dekh kar hi hansne lagte hain.

    32 years in the film industry and 400 films... Don't you feel tired?
    Yes, of course, I got tired and that's why I took break from films. I have done many films and spoke different languages. Now, even I want to take rest but it is the love of my audience that I want to continue with acting.

    What is the difference between Johnny Lever as a comedian and Johnny Lever in real life?
    I am not funny in real life, but it's my work to make people laugh. I am just like any regular person. I am a fun- loving guy, which is reflected in my acting. I love to spend time with my family like any other person.

    Any other ambitions apart from acting?
    I want to make a movie like Mehmood sahab's Kunwaara Baap. I want to express my emotions and convey a message through the film, but I don't have a good subject to proceed with the filmmaking. This concept was always on my mind, but I am not able to work properly on it.

    What do you have to say about the current trend of comedy shows on television?
    It's an era of comedy shows on channels and people love to watch them. Also, such shows have adult content. Par dekhne wale dekhte hain. I don't do such comedy and I don't like vulgarity. The only positive thing about such shows is at least they provide platform to newcomers.

    Do you have any regrets as an actor?
    Once I signed a B-grade movie, it was a horror movie and I felt like quitting midway, but I couldn't and I still feel bad about it.

    Who is your favorite actor in Bollywood?
    Although, I enjoy with all my co-actors, but I share a really good chemistry with Govinda. We were able to work in unison because he has a good sense of comedy. We had worked in many films together and won the hearts of audience.

    Any advice for the youth of country?
    Nowadays, honesty and hard work is losing its meaning. People want shortcut for everything. At the age of 30, people are giving up, saying 'it's enough and want to do something else'. Hard work and honesty is the key to build a strong foundation in whatever we do and we should follow this mantra. Even I have given thirty years of life to this profession and now people believe ki Johnny kuch kar sakta hai.



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