“A movie runs because of the content, not the cast” – Parvin Dabbas

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Parvin Dabbas is quickly proving that he is the Jack of all trades by perhaps being the most unpredictable actor in the industry. He’s been all the talk since his not so mainstream debut in Monsoon Wedding, which got him more praises in the international market than at home! The actor continues to explore more and more horizons, the latest one of them being a Karan Johar project. Yes, indeed Parvin is all set to feature in a very significant role in this Friday’s release My Name is Khan. We managed to catch up with the actor to talk about all that is Khan!

How did you become a part of My Name Is Khan?

It was quite simple, they called me up and offered it to me! [laughs]

So tell us a bit about your role.

Well honestly I cannot tell you too much about the role ,however what I can tell you is that I play a role of a journalist who in some way does help Shah Rukh’s character. That’s about all I can say.

Now we’ve seen several films on the genre of racial profile and the effects of 9/11, so what is that makes MNIK so unique?

Well I don’t think completely about those things. I think it’s a journey of a man. It’s a love story too and it’s also about how he influences people around him. I think it’s more a story of all those things just set in the genre as you’ve mentioned rather than focusing on those events specifically. It’s more a story of how one person can influence certain events. So I would say that therein lies the story of My Name is Khan and also the lesson that is being brought to the audience through the film which is that one person can indeed make a difference.

Coming now to your director, Karan Johar, who of course is one of the biggest public icons of the industry despite being a man who’s commonly behind the camera. Tell us, despite all that we’ve seen of him, what is he truly like when he’s doing what he’s best at which is directing?

There are a few things that make a great director. Technically you have to be sound and you know that there’s quite a few directors who get by because technically they’re brilliant. In addition, you need to have very good people relation skills. Like I said, many directors are technically brilliant however lack people relation skills. So that is what makes Karan so great which is the fact that he’s equally brilliant in both departments. Technically, he’s great and knows exactly what he wants. He’s creative and imaginative. He’s also very caring and really makes sure that everyone around him is comfortable. So as an actor I would say that attitude in a director makes a big difference. You want to feel appreciated and taken care of and that is what Karan’s treatment is. He’s a great guy and it was a pleasure working with him!

Of course the cast of the film is quite a phenomenal duo of Shah Rukh and Kajol. How was the experience of working with them and everyone else?

It was great! They were really chilled people to work with. I’ve known Shah Rukh very causally for a long time. He was my senior in college and he choreographed one of our fashion shows as well and back then I didn’t know him that well. It was only now and then that I would bump into him during our time together in the industry. But he’s always met me very warmly. We’ve shared a few common friends and in fact his wife Gauri went to school with me. He’s also seen quite a few plays of mine. So he’s always been a gentlemen and always has followed my career and asked me about it whenever we’d bump into each other. Of course for MNIK we were more than just bumping into each other and actually had time to chat. He’s really a caring guy!

So any memorable moment from the set? A funny incident perhaps that you’d like to share!

Well you know I have a beard for the film so it would take people a long time to recognise me. So they’d ask me a couple of days later “aren’t you Pravin Dabbas” and I’d say “yes the last time I checked I was!” [laughs] So even though they didn’t recognise you it was nice in a way because there was a lot of hysteria on the other actors. It was nice to maintain a low profile.

The movie of course is one of the most awaited films, being the comeback of Shah Rukh and Kajol as a jodi. Did this ever make you apprehensive that perhaps you’d be sidelined?

No, not at all! Of course not. It’s a huge movie and says a lot so it’s not like it was limited to the works of Shah Rukh, Kajol and Karan. I had my part that I got to play. It wasn’t about the size of the role but rather the quality of it and the fact that you got to be apart of such a film and that is what I really wanted, which was to be a part of the film as I’ve wanted to work with Karan for some time.

So what do you have coming up for your fans later in 2010?

I have a film releasing in Canada and in America called The Memsaab which is a period film. It’s an American independent feature that has been shot in India. It’s been shot in Gujraat and I play a Maharaj in it, and in fact I have somewhat of a dual role in the film. Apart from that I have a film call The Undertrial.

What sort of films, genres or roles are you looking forward to doing the most?

I don’t think I judge a film depending on the genre. I look at the whole film, script or story. So I basically grab anything that interests me. Only after we finish a film do we think about slotting it in a genre. Genre is something you specify when you start publicity. Me personally, I am not interested in genres but rather films.

The year 2009 has just wrapped up, what has been some of your favorites in the year gone by?

Avatar. Kaminey definitely, am a big fan of Vishal Bhardwaj whose story telling style I really like. Big fan of his. I also really liked Dev.D. I liked Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye of course, Dibakar’s second film.

Lastly, we know of many reasons why audiences would be running to cinema to watch MNIK, but if you had to give them one other reason, what would it be?

Its a good movie! That should be enough of a reason. Initially the excitement is because of the cast but at the end of the day the movie runs because of the content!

Now that line is one to go straight in the quote books, what say guys? So be sure to go ahead and judge the content of Karan Johar’s latest venture, My Name is Khan, this Friday!

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