His last Hindi release was Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif starrer Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani where he had a special appearance. The film was a hit but Upen Patel decided to hang on before signing his next. He was sure that it had to be a major lead role next and even if that meant taking a quick foray down South, step in as a main villain in Shankar’s I, enjoy a major money spinner and then wait for a while before his next Bollywood film calling, he was fine with it. Well, an offer did come his way in the form of Suneel Darshan‘s love triangle Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha [EHTEDT] which is set for release this Friday.
Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani came back in 2009. Considering the fact that you are doing a Hindi film now after so many years, I am sure it must be something special, right?
See, you have to win audience faith with a film of yours. When Aamir Khan or Hrithik Roshan come after two years on screen, people wait because they know it would be good cinema. I am not comparing myself with these superstars. What I am trying to say is that one needs to create a foothold in the industry to get the right cinema which projects me as a leading man.
It has been more than a decade though since your debut release 36 China Town .
You have to understand that I don’t have a film background or a filmy family. I am lucky that I am still around. You know, when I first came in films with 36 China Town, I got so many awards as the best newcomer. I didn’t have anyone to teach me. Slowly I started understanding the industry. Today, I have taken a leap as an actor and a human being. You get to see me performing, emoting and really taking my game to the next level.
Fortunately for you, there have been good directors in your repertoire.
That’s correct, this way I have been lucky. I have worked with people like Abbas–Mustan, Subhash Ghai, Suneel Darshan, Rajkumar Santoshi, Vipul Shah, Ashwani Dhir – so many of these are legendary guys and I am so glad that I did films with them. Even in terms of music, I have worked with Himesh Reshammiya where everything that he has touched turned gold. Today in Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha, I have worked with Nadeem sir. This way, I feel blessed to have worked with the best of the best.
Now in the film, Suneel Darshan has incorporated the supernatural element as well.
Yes, there is this element which brings an emotional twist to the tale. See, when you love someone, you cross barriers. Sometimes God works with you when nothing else works; you see that element in the film. When I discussed about the film’s plot points with Suneelji, sometimes I wouldn’t agree with some of the decisions that my character made. He would always tell me that when he makes a movie then it has to give a message. Here it is about giving hope to love. He wants people to believe in love again. Cinema takes you away from realism and he wants you to spread love and come back feeling good after watching the film.