Given the kind of stunts you were seen doing in the promos of 24, let me start by asking what is the secret of your fitness?
It's all because of the three ladies of my house - my wife Sunita and my lovely daughters Sonam and Rhea.
Didn't you have any apprehensions about debuting on TV with a fiction?
It was when I was shooting in the United States of America for a film that I saw the original show and I felt that this is more relevant today in our country. If I have to be on television, it has to be this show. And I just started dreaming and started thinking how to bring the show to India.
The concept of the show is quite new while most TV viewers are used to watching daily soaps and reality shows. What are your expectations from 24?
Television is a writer's medium. You can't make any show on TV without good writers. The way Rensil (D'Silva, writer) has adapted the series is remarkable. We have tried to make a good show, I am hopeful and keeping my fingers crossed.
Are you nervous?
Not at all. Let me tell you one thing. So far in my career, whenever I have done something out of the box, I haven't been nervous. It's very regular, very mainstream work that makes me very nervous because then, I feel something will go wrong.
In 2001 you did a film Nayak: The Real Hero where you were made Chief Minister for 24 hours and you brought quite a few changes to the system. Now if you get 24 hours, what changes will you bring as a common man?
You will see that in 24 itself. In Nayak, my character was larger than life; after all, he was a Hindi film hero. But in this TV series, my character is very flawed. His relationship with his wife is on the rocks, as well as he is struggling in his work. And he is desperately trying to hit a balance between his work and family ... like we all do. Here you will see how in 24 hours a flawed hero gets his family together, fights for his country and fights to save the life of the future prime minister of this country.
Is the flawed nature of your character in 24 makes him dearer to you?
Absolutely so. I have never played this kind of a hero that I played in 24. This is the first time in my entire career I am playing such a hero. So far, despite being a zero in real life, I used to play a typical hero in reel life. Now-a-days, though my wife won't agree, I am trying to become hero in real life, while on the screen there are shades of grey on the characters I play. Perhaps that is because today's audience wants to see real characters even on the silver screen so that they can relate to them.
--IBNS (Posted on 08-09-2013)