He’s undoubtedly one of Bollywood’s best actors. Comedies, tear-jerkers, negative roles — there’s little Paresh Rawal hasn’t done in his career spanning three-and-a-half decades. And to say that he has performed each role with aplomb is, as the cliche goes, an understatement. While he’s a delight to watch on screen, off it, he’s known for his brutal honesty. Clearly, the actor-politician doesn’t believe in being politically correct. As he says during the course of the interview, “If I’m not aware of something, I won’t comment. Main gol gol jawab nahin doonga.”  Rawal recently courted controversy when his comments on writer-activist Arundhati Roy sparked a national debate. We caught up with him in the midst of promotions for his upcoming entertainer, ‘Guest Iin London’, which releases this Friday. Excerpts…
It has been two years since your last release, ‘Welcome Back’. Have you become extra choosy?
Not extra choosy per se, but kuchh dhang ki script toh ho yaar. Kabhi mil jaati hai… I have a good line-up now. Rajkumar Hirani’s biopic on Sanjay Dutt, ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’, Ananth Mahadevan’s film based on Satyajit Ray… I’m happy with the movies I’m working on. Like my next film, ‘Guest Iin London’, is a family entertainer in which I have a good role. The fact that it has people I love working with was an added temptation. After so many years, you become confident that you have some control over your craft. So, I look for roles that can challenge that confidence. Money is not the criteria. In fact, I’m doing a couple of limited-budget movies; the biggest joy is to be associated with good cinema. This time around, you play an unannounced guest in the house of a young couple (played by Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Kharbanda) in London…  In ‘Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge’ (2010) too, Ajay Devgn and Konkona Sensharma were younger than me. I love working with younger actors. Today’s generation is focused and career-oriented. They are not greedy to sign 10 films. They are selective and don’t mind waiting to do good work. Talking about the younger generation, are your sons planning careers in movies? My younger son Aditya is into screenplay writing. He has completed his graduation from New York University. My elder son Aniruddh is an assistant director. I will support and encourage them the way my parents supported me, but if they expect me to launch them, that won’t happen. They should make it on their own.
On a lighter note, your character in ‘Guest Iin London’ is that of an unannounced guest. How do you treat such visitors in real life?  Honestly, I hate anyone except friends coming unannounced to my home. I never pay surprise visits to people. In fact, even when I call up someone, I ask if they are free to talk. Yeh toh ghar par jaane ki baat hai! So, if someone drops in suddenly, I tell them that I’m stepping out. I’m blunt that way. Kyun faaltu ka jhelna!
As a guest, do your hosts go out of their way to please you, keeping in mind your celebrity status?  I don’t like being given extra attention. If I am coming over for lunch or dinner, cook whatever you would have prepared for yourself. Don’t show me your culinary skills. Main milne jaata hoon, khaana khaane nahin. Milne ka mazaa aana chahiye. If you get good food, then you’re busy eating and don’t get time to talk. Uss mein mazaa nahin hai.  The Times  of  India : 6th. July,17


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