'Asura is pretty much about the fight between the good and evil'
Arshad Warsi, who is making his debut in web series with Voot’s upcoming psychological mystery thriller Asura, talks about working in the web space, re-shooting Aaankh Mare and what is the biggest evil that we need to vanquish
Circuit in Munna Bhai series, Madhav in Golmaal franchise, Aditya in Dhamaal films and Jolly in Jolly LLB — Arshad Warsi has played some memorable characters and has been entertaining the audience for the past two decades. From being an assistant director to Mahesh Bhatt and choreographing a song Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja, to winning hearts with his performances in films like Tere Mere Sapne, Zila Ghaziabad, Ishqiya and Dedh Ishqiya, Hulchul, Sunday, Kabul Express, Irada, Salaam Namaste, Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya — Arshad has come a long way. However, the audience often associates him with comedy. Now, the actor is all excited about being a part of Voot’s psychological mystery thriller Asura which marks his debut in the web space. Asura, a uniquely Indian, edge-of-the-seat psychological thriller shows the less-explored world of forensic science against the mystical mythology of Varanasi.
Arshad will be seen essaying the role of Dhananjay Rajpoot, a forensic expert, alongside Barun Sobti, who will portray Quantico, FBI agent and is also Dhananjay’s former protege.
Although he is making his debut in web series, the actor says he doesn’t differentiate between mediums, be it web, films or TV. All that he looks for is a good script. “It is always about a good script and that is pretty much what drove me to do Asura. When you see the series, you’ll know the visual differences but as far as the script is concerned, the writing is very detailed and believable because the people who have written it aren’t just writers who are creating things out of their imagination. A doctor and a forensic scientist have actually been a part of the script. So when we talk about dissecting a body in the scenes, it is like how we talk in real life. All the terms and terminologies have been used accurately. It is a very well-researched script and project. The script is hardcore Indian and not a rip-off of Hollywood films or borrowed elements of books put together. It is about Kali and Kalki and the beliefs of a pandit,” he says.
Talking about his character and the theme of the series, Arshad says, Asura, as the name suggests, portrays the dark side of things. “It is pretty much about the fight between good and evil — a murder mystery with all those Sherlock Holmes’ elements put together. That’s how exciting it is! I am playing Dhananjay Rajpoot, a forensic scientist, quintessentially a guy who solves mysteries and tries to solve a very complicated case,” he explains.
The actor, who expresses disappointment at not getting enough roles that focus on themes similar to the one he’s played in Asura that required a different kind of acting skill, says, “It’s my job to do justice to every kind of role but I enjoy doing this kind of cinema. Unfortunately, I haven’t got the opportunity to do such kind of roles so often. Being in a space like this is a treat for an actor, because you get to do serious work which is more than regular acting.”
When further nudged about the type of characters he wants to play, he says that acting is like having a buffet where one has to try everything. “Unfortunately, I haven’t got many opportunities to do different things, but I had always yearned to try out different roles and genres, and I think this is one of the reasons why I said yes to Asura. I kept doing comedy and the producers kept making money, and then I continued doing comedy which kind of became a pattern. I got very few offers where I could do serious acting but whenever I have got a chance I have taken it up because I knew it was a good script,” he says.
While the title of the series hints at mythology, Asura is about the less-explored world of forensic science. When asked what, according to him, is the biggest ‘asura’ in our lives that we have to defeat he says, “If I give the answer, probably I will be put behind bars!” But going on to answer the question, he says, “It is not a politically correct answer, but I personally think that the biggest ‘asura’ that we have today or since time, is religion. Most number of wars have been fought and most number of people have been killed because of religion. If we can let go of that, then I think nobody will have any reason to provoke anyone.”
He further adds that hatred and animosity are also some of the biggest ‘asuras’ that we have in our society today. “Things that are not invisible are more dangerous than things that you can see — a wrong state of mind can be more dangerous than a gun,” he says.
Recently, Arshad was seen in the Ranveer Singh-starrer Simmba in the Aankh Maare song, which has become an anthem for Bollywood lovers. The original song featured Arshad. Talking about his experience of reshooting it after two decades with Ranveer, Sara Ali Khan and the Golmaal cast, Arshad says that he loved the experience and is more than happy to do any song for a Rohit Shetty film. He says, “Firstly, I am extremely grateful to all those who have liked it, and secondly, I have no idea why they did! People were like ‘Wow!’ This is damn good!’ ‘Amazing dance!’ and I was like it is Ranveer who is doing the song and not me and they should call him up. But I think they liked my energy in whatever little I did in the song and I throughly enjoyed re-shooting it with Ranveer, Sara and others. What is beautiful about the song is that some of the dancers who had originally shot this song with me years ago are in the dance number with Ranveer too. I must tell you that I am extremely fond of Ranveer — he is a totally crazy guy.”
The 50-year-old actor’s next film Fraud Saiyaan will be releasing on January 18, and Total Dhamaal is one of Arshad’s upcoming projects.