This Friday, filmmaker Priyadarshan is making a comeback to Hindi cinema after eight years with Hungama 2 on Disney+ Hotstar. The comic caper features Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Paresh Rawal, Meezaan and Pranitha Subhash in the lead. It also unites Priyadarshan with his frequent collaborator Rajpal Yadav and in an exclusive conversation with SpotboyE.com, the actor talks about reuniting with his director, his tryst with comedy, reason behind changing his name and his upcoming international projects. Read excerpts from the interview:
Rajpal sir, Hungama 2 marks your reunion with Priyadarshan, with whom you have given some iconic performances like in Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Hungama and Chup Chup Ke. How was it working with him again?
I never went away from him so there was no question of coming back. He was making a film with Mohanlal ji so he took a break from Hindi films, so when he decided to make Hungama 2, I got the privilege to work with him again. Hungama brought a big change in my life in terms of popularity. Wherever I used to go, I would hear my dialogue, ‘saalon mandir ka ghanta samajh ke rakha hai, koi bhi aake baja jata hai’. Even today, people remember that 17 years later.
Speaking of Hungama, you and Paresh Rawal are the common factor between the two, How has your equation between you two evolved in these 17 years?
We have a very good equation of mutual respect. We might have done a lot of films together but in those films, our scenes together were in very few of them. Chup Chup Ke was the film we got to explore that more. In Priyadarshan ji’s films, every character has their own track, and the credit for bringing all that together goes to Priyadarshan ji as he is the master of comedy of errors. A lot of things about my relationship with Paresh ji have evolved due to the way Priyadarshan ji has designed our characters.
You recently worked with Jaaved Jaaferi in Coolie No 1, and now here you are with his son Meezaan. Did you see a glimpse of his father in Meezaan?
Jaaved ji has served this industry for decades through films and TV, and even his father is a comic legend, so Meezaan is the third generation of that legacy. He is a kid of this new generation and his hard work shows in his work. His future is very bright as he has all those qualities that make a good actor and a human being.
You have been associated with comedy films all your career. Did you ever feel like maybe trying out a different genre?
In my last 20 years here, only comedy has worked for me. So, if I leave comedy, what will I do? Comedy is entertainment and that is what is loved worldwide.
You recently changed your name to Rajpal Naurang Yadav. What was the reason behind that?
There was no such reason. My name in the passport was Rajpal Naurang Yadav, and I have achieved a lot in the last 20 years all due to my father and mother. You can never pay back your mother even in seven lives and the only name that stays with you throughout your life, wherever you go, is your father’s. So, I thought it was the least I could do for him if I am recognised by his name. Also, I got a few international projects, so I thought it’s better to be known there by the name I have in my passport.
Speaking of your international projects, you announced three of them, including Krazy King where you will be working with legends like Morgan Freeman and Martin Sheen. Is there any update on them?
In the next one and a half years, all the three projects will be wrapped up. We will start the shoot for the first project in October. As for Krazy King, there will be a few more big names that will be added. We will start shooting for it in May-June next year. It’s a complete Indo-American film about an Indian story. I always had a dream to do a dedication for Charlie Chaplin. In 1992 I saw The Great Dictator and I made him my idol then and there. I never copied him or recreated any of his scenes, but he has always inspired me, so Krazy King is a dedication to him from my side. Cinema is glamour but he challenged it all with just his creativity and I feel blessed to get this chance.
Rajpal sir, a few years ago you had undergone a crisis in your personal life with you being sent to prison. Was it challenging to get work when you came back from it?
Bollywood has given me over 200 projects and I see it as my second mother. So, I have always received love and support from here. As for the matter, I have always been a fighter so I was always ready to face anything. And at the end of the day, truth cannot be defeated.
Image Source: Instagram/rajpalofficial/rajpalofficial , twitter/rajpalofficial