Vinay Pathak. Sometimes just this name is enough to bring a smile on your face. And if you watch his films or interact with him, you know that it doesn’t take a lot for this man to have you in splits.
Strangely, if you label Pathak as a comic actor, he begs to differ. "I have really done more serious and non-comic roles in my career," he says. He counts on his fingertips Fire, Jism, Johnny Gaddar, Manorama Six Feet Under, Khoya Khoya Chand, Mithya, Via Darjeeling etc. "Please spread rumors that I am a versatile actor. It will help." Look, he’s at it again!
Pathak is producing his first feature film Dasvidanya under Lemon Tea Productions. The film is slated to release on 14 November.
Excerpts from a chat the actor had with Businessofcinema.com:
Last I heard you did not have dates for shooting and now you have three releases coming up in one month—Dasvidanya, Oh My God and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.
Yes, so it proves the fact that actually I did not have dates because I had so many movies. Raat Gayi Baat Gayi, directed by Saurabh Shukla, might also release. They are also threatening to come out.
After having produced television shows, you have now turned feature film producer with Dasvidanya.
Lemon Tea has been producing TV software for four years now. Ranvir, Vinay, Aur Kaun was the last show we produced. The reason Shahshant (my partner and also the director of Dasvidanya) and I wanted to have a company to produce films. I had even directed a short film for the company long back.
How was your first experience at producing a film?
It is very different, grueling and gratifying as well. It is not just about the money, it is very creative too.
The audience remembers you more for your comic roles. But the promos of your movie Dasvidanya make it look like an emotional drama. Do you think this disparity will have an impact?
It doesn’t bother me that I am labeled as a comic actor. Whatever characters I have played in the past I have been lucky that people have given me the liberty and platform to portray the character and bring in my own interpretations. People always acknowledge the effort I put in a character and I think that’s fair enough for me to be confident about Dasvidanya.
Going forward what kind of films are you looking at producing?
We want to make movies that excite us, we wouldn’t want to specify the genres or whether it is meant for multiplex or single screens. We want a maximum number of people to see our films. We want to make the kind of cinema that we like to watch and would not want to compromise or shortchange the quotient of entertainment. The story has to appeal to me first and then the characters and how the characters are instrumental to the plot.
Now that you have turned a producer, will you be acting in fewer films? What kind of films would they be?
Yes. I will act in fewer films and I will select them solely on the basis of scripts, doesn’t matter who it is with. As a matter of fact I have worked with all new directors for quite sometime now, be it Dasvidanya, Oh My God, Raat Gayi Baat Gayi, Mumbai Chaka Chak and SRK or Adi Chopra who is a third time director (laughs). It matters who the director is to the extent of how he will tell the story. But first and foremost we need a good script.
Which is the next film that you are producing?
Well, the script is already locked in and we have begun pre-production work on it. It will be directed by Shashant Shah.
When do you plan to direct your first film?
I am writing a story, and in a year or two I should be directing my first feature film.