In the Munnabhai series, Arshad Warsi, playing Circuit, became India’s favourite sidekick. Now, in Jolly LLB in which he plays the hero, the actor gets a sidekick of his own. This is a first for Warsi, who has had several solo hero films to his credit in the past. “I did solo projects like Hero Hindustani (1998) Waisa Bhi Hota Hai (WBHH, 2003), Saher (2005) and Hum Tum Aur Ghost (2008) much earlier, so I don’t care about getting a sidekick in Jolly LLB,” says Warsi. He adds, “It doesn’t matter to me. For me it’s the film and script that matters. What position I am (in the film) as an actor doesn’t matter.”
At the same time, Arshad isn’t dismissive of the importance of the supporting actor’s role in a film. He says unlike one-man army films like Rambo (2008), our films require a lot of bounce boards, people around to make things happen. He says, “There are certain things a hero can’t do, it goes against his personality. Therefore you have a supporting actor. In Jolly LLB, Ishtiyaaq who plays my assistant has done a fab job.”
Arshad adds that he prefers to be in the space of films like WBHH as they are close to his sensibilities. He says, “Saher got me critical acclaim though it was a serious role and then Kabul Express (2006) happened. I haven’t got a chance to do any other serious film but given a chance that’s what I would like to do. Comedies get producers their money and since I did a comic role in my first film, I got stuck with that.”
Ask him if Jolly LLB will get him more solo hero projects, he says, “Solo roles don’t fascinate me. What matters to me is a film irrespective of whether it has two or five heroes. I get excited about a film with a bunch of honest people working towards a good product. It bothers me if that doesn’t do well. I’d rather do good films, which gets respectability and may not do well than do a bad film doing well but with no respectability.”
Arshad feels India is the funniest country with no sense of humour and that’s what the film is about. He says, “If you watch our courtrooms or the way Parliament functions, it’s hilarious. Jolly LLB is in that space.” The actor will next be seen in Zilla Ghaziabad, Dedh Ishqiya and Munnabhai Ki Aatma Katha besides the next Dhamaal series.