He has best of both worlds
Q. How did it occur to you to participate in 'Jhalak Dikhla Ja'?
When I was offered it I was reluctant to accept it. I have always been a desi thumka dancer so to attempt all international dance forms was quite a challenge for me. But when my daughter encouraged me to give it a shot, I couldn't help saying yes!
Q. This is your second reality show after 'Bigg Boss'. In spite of being a superstar of the Bhojpuri industry, why do you feel the need to stay connected with the Hindi television industry?
Firstly, I love participating in reality shows and secondly, they increase my demographic reach. I cannot deny the fame I was exposed to after 'Bigg Boss'. Suddenly getting recognised in Bollywood through 'Bigg Boss' was something I had never expected.
Q. But, do you personally enjoy being a part of the reality shows?
To an extent, yes! Although, they give horrible mental and physical stress at times, like the 'house' tensions in 'Bigg Boss', the body ache that comes with each dance step I attempt in 'Jhalak Dikhla Ja'. But, I have a good time on these shows. It's pretty challenging for an actor to perform without any re-takes. On 'JDJ' I get to learn more than I expected. While dancing in my movies I never had to leave my comfort zone.
Q. Is it true that you have had to lower the number of your Bhojpuri projects?
Yes, I have. Earlier I would do approximately 12 movies in a year, but now I can only do four. Blame it on my busy schedule or me being choosy, but now I won't do movies with which I am not thoroughly convinced. However, the rumours of me leaving the Bhojpuri industry are baseless. I will never stop doing Bhojpuri movies.
Q. With masala films like 'Dabangg' and 'Rowdy Rathore' being in vogue in Bollywood, do you think mainstream cinema is giving more competition to the regional movies?
It most definitely is! When Bollywood was making Hollywood-like films, audience turned to regional cinema for filmi entertainment. But now that Bollywood too has returned to the (action-masala) genre, the competition for us has increased.
Q. You have helped a lot of upcoming talent in the Bhojpuri industry.
Yes, I spent several years struggling for a deserving break, so I know what it feels like to be in the industry without a guide and not get any recognition for your talent. I want to make sure that whatever talent I can spot gets its rightful place in the industry. On sets I keep observing junior actors and directors. And when I find a talented professional, I give him a break.
Q. Will we get to see you in more Bollywood movies this year?
Yes, I have signed a lot of Bollywood movies. I will be appearing in both lead and parallel lead roles, one of these films is a Sunny Deol production.
Q. You have been in Indore before to promote your movie. How do you find the city?
I like the city for its food and weather. It's quite a vibrant place and also whenever I come here, I never fail to pay a visit to Mahakal temple.
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