His debut in films was ‘silent’ - he played a deaf mute in Subhash Ghai-Nagesh Kukunoor’s Iqbal. But in Kukunoor’s next, Dor he went to the other extreme as the garrulous guide of Ayesha Takia. Next came the humble mechanic in Subhash Ghai’s Apna Sapna Money Money…, the brute husband of Aggar and the Bihari wannabe politician in Dil Dosti Etc. It’s a chameleonic variety, really.
And now Shreyas Talpade has taken a new hue - as producer of the Subhash Ghai-backed Kaande Pohe, a Marathi romantic comedy.
Excerpts from a rapid-fire chat with the man:
Five films old, and you have conveyed both mettle and range.
It’s all destiny. Even Kaande Pohe. I did want to produce films in Marathi, but five or six years later. Then, Ghai said that he was planning to enter Marathi films. I decided that such an opportunity may not come again, because Marathi films, though some have been grossing 4 to 5 crore of late, still need all the help they can. My friend Rajiv Patil had a subject and we developed it and in a short while we were ready.
Of course, starring in the film was out of the question as the film is to be released this December and my dates are blocked for my Hindi films. But with Ghai setting an example, so many others might come in to back Marathi films.
What were you into before Iqbal happened?
I did English plays like All The Best and A Funny Thing Called Love, besides Marathi serials. But the credit for my first film goes to Yatin Karyekar, who portrayed his father in Iqbal. He recommended my name after signing the film as they had not yet cast Iqbal. The audition was a challenge, but they liked me.
You have worked both with Naseer and his son Imaad in Dil Dosti Etc. How would you compare them?
After I struck a rapport with Naseer I also realised that he was actually quite a naughty guy! Imaad is more reserved, likes his space and has his own interests like music. But as an actor, he is equally effortless and in some aspects, you actually get the illusion that you are again working with his father.
Will Om Shanti Om do justice to you, as it is a SRK-Deepika tale? Or did you do it only for the mileage?
No, I did not do the film only for the mileage, I have got a very different role - the film has five main characters and I am one.
What else are you doing?
I am doing the comedy Bombay To Bangkok, in which Ghai and Kukunoor come together again. There is Click, directed by Sangeeth Sivan, a horror film, and I am about to begin shooting for Shyam Benegal’s Malgudi Days-like film Mahadev.