Although Tusshar Kapoor started his career playing intense characters in films like Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai, Gayab and Khakee, he is best known for his comical turns in popular film franchises like the Golmaal and the Kyaa Kool Hai Hum series. He recently made his digital debut with ALTBalaji’s horror comedy series Booo Sabki Phategi. In this interview with Murtaza Ali Khan, he talks about his latest work, the scope of horror comedy genre in India and the secret behind his uncanny comic timing.
Tell us about your experience of working with Mallika Sherawat on Booo Sabki Phategi especially since it is marks the digital debut for the both of you.
I think it is really exciting to be back with Mallika after 17 years and that too in a horrorcomedy. It was a pleasant surprise when Farhad (Samji) Bhai told me that Mallika wasgoing to be a part of it because I hadn’t seen her on the screen for a while. With Mallika making a comeback on a digital platform as a ghost in Booo, all of us were certain that itwill help us in drawing eyeballs. Since I have worked with her before, we enjoy a good level of comfort and of course it also makes good headlines.
What are your thoughts on the rise of OTT platforms as an actor?
OTT platforms have been good. People are breaking the norms and doing stuff that’svery new wave and by doing so they are constantly redefining themselves. I feel that it’sa galaxy out there. With the web, there are no limitations. It goes beyond barriers ofgeography and time. It offers a lot of artistic freedom to content creators. Having saidthat, I feel that there is no need for everyone to only try and make dark, grim andserious stuff. Why can’t we come up with web-based content that appeals to the masses and classes alike instead of targeting only the English-speaking, city-bredviewers? I think Booo Sabki Phategi is a step forward in that direction.
How do you see horror comedy as a genre in the Indian scope?
I think everyone in our country loves to believe in the supernatural. Whether we talk about villages or cities, everybody has a ghost story to talk about whether it is true or not. Such stories have always been a part of the folklore. We may not believe in thembut we still like to talk about them and watch them. And as far as humour is concerned, I don’t think that there is a better way to de-stress ourselves.
I think from the beginning ofIndian cinema, comedy has had a special place. Today, it has become much wider and commercial. Even superstars like Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar are making comedy films. Now, if you bring horror and comedy together, it is obviously going to have amuch wider appeal because people love both the genres. I think it has been long overdue. Internationally, horror comedy has been a very successful genre for quitesome time but it took some time before we finally embrace it. I think it was Priyadarshan’s Bhool Bhulaiyaa that started this trend in India.
You started by playing serious characters but went on to carve a niche by playingcomic characters. What is the secret behind your uncanny comic timing?
To be honest, I have had good directors to work with. So a lot of credit goes to them. Ithink Rohit Shetty has the knack of getting the best out of his actors. Some of the bestscenes of my career have been in the Golmaal series. I am really thankful to Rohit andhis team for always presenting me so well. Even in the comedy scenes, he takes me outof that boy next door zone and always tries to explore the other side of me which veryfew filmmakers have tried exploring. He has that ability to make a boy look like a man. I really consider myself fortunate to have worked with him in so many films.
It’s been 18 years since you made your debut with Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai. How do you reflect upon your journey?
It’s miles to go before I sleep. I think I have had a journey which has seen a lot ofsuccesses and failures. But at the same time, it has been steady. I would love to domore work. I am a father now and I have kept myself fit. I am really looking forward todoing a lot more work. I feel I am a grown-up in this field now and have matured as anactor too. So you better be ready for a few surprises now. I am going to come out withsome very different films in the near future.
What are your upcoming projects?
There is a film called Mareech. It’s a tentative title for a thriller that will start in August. You will see me in a very different avatar in the film. Also, there are a few other offers in the pipeline which I will decide on the basis of how well Booo is received by the audiences.