Why did you agree to do this film?
I did this film because in Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobara I got to do that thing which I didn't get to do in any of my films so far ... and that is, loving someone to death. I have done about 120-125 films so far, but the experience of this film was different. I got to play a different game altogether.
It was Emraan Hashmi who played Shoaib Khan in the prequel Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai (2010) and he was appreciated a lot for his performance. So is there any pressure to live up to that image and take it forward with the sequel?
There is no pressure. I am here to play my character. As far as living up to the image he set in the prequel is concerned, I did not get a chance to think about it. I just kept following what my director (Milan Luthria) asked me to do.
There is a buzz that filmmaker Karan Johar is favouring you over Shah Rukh Khan given that he released the theatrical trailer of your film and not Chennai Express with his Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. True?
I don't think he is favouring anyone, or in your words, choosing between me and Shah Rukh. Our director requested him if the theatrical promo of Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobara can be released with his film and he was gracious enough to say 'yes'. We are all friends ... we belong to one fraternity.
At present you are endorsing about 13 brands. Being a superstar, do you choose a brand or the brand chooses you?
The brand chooses me. If they think I am fit for it, I am approached.
Is it true that you have hiked your fees?
If something is selling so well, what's the problem in increasing rates? It's a give-and-take relationship. Even you would like to get more money as promotion from your company.
Do you think the new generation actors are too impatient with success and failure?
I won't comment on that. But all I can say is there is no need to be depressed. I too have seen failure in life. But then, you have to hold to what you have and wait ... after all morning comes only after night.
How much time are you able to take out for your family out of your busy schedule?
I try to spend as much time I can with them. I don't feel going out after 9.30 pm. It's not that my family pressurizes me to stay indoors. But I am always like that. I hate going out for late nights, I hate shooting at night. I am most happy when I am with my children (son Aarav Kumar, daughter Nitara Kumar) and my family.
What makes you so energetic at 45?
I just have a glass of milk with a spoon of Chyawanprash. That's the secret of my energy.
--IBNS (Posted on 21-06-2013)