Arshad Warsi: Dedh Ishqiya's Babban believes in lust, not love
As soon as the team breaks between the photo shoot, a mug of coffee and a hand mirror are promptly placed in front of Arshad Warsi.
His first reaction, however, is to pull out an e-cigarette and raise it to his lips, slowly exhaling a stream of smoke. A few weeks ago, on a social networking website, the actor admitted to have given up smoking cigarettes upon his son's insistence — it looks like Arshad Warsi has kept the promise. "I don't like the idea of being a slave to something. I was becoming dependent on the nicotine rush and realised I needed to kick the butt. I am glad I found the will power in me," explains the actor.
Arshad Warsi's will power has also served him in his career. A rank outsider, the actor has managed to sustain himself in the cut-throat industry for 17 years in spite of several ups and downs. A choreographer, he was cast in the leading role for his debut feature, 'Tere Mere Sapne' (1996), through a talent hunt. An aberration in those days, extensive auditioning to find new faces has come to be commonplace today.
"It's been tough; there were times when I didn't have any good work. I didn't have a PR pushing my name into media. Still don't. And I don't believe in attending events to be seen in the company of big names," says the actor.
Yet, the journey, the 45-year-old says, has been a fruitful one. At a time when the industry is undergoing changes, where script and character-driven films with fresh faces are threatening to tip over the star system, Arshad Warsi has managed to get his foot in the door to the 'content-conscious club'. A case in point is his recent box-office hit, 'Jolly LLB', and, of course, Abhishek Chaubey's 'Ishqiya' franchise, the latest installment of which releases on January 10.