Popular TV host turned actor, Manish Paul will soon be seen in Abhishek Sharma’s Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive.  In a freewheeling chat with Pandolin, the happy-go-lucky actor tells us about his transition from the small screen to the big screen, his role in the upcoming film and how he has a great time in everything he does.

Manish Paul

Manish Paul

How was the experience of being part of Tere Bin Laden : Dead or Alive?

I loved it. Everyone loved the first part and the film did very well. So when I was offered this role, I read the script and Abhishek (Sharma, director) sir told me a one – liner and I instantly agreed to do the film. We had a lot of fun while making this film. 


What was the one thing that drew you towards this film?

The first thing was the script, which is awesome. The moment I heard the one-liner I said yes to the film. Abhishek sir told me that the script is not ready yet but I told him that I loved the idea and I’m doing it. It’s a franchise of a hit film and meeting Abhishek sir boosted the comfort level. While talking to each other we discovered that we are both Delhi and also from the same college. So we shared a good chemistry and all factors worked well for us.

With the first film having done so well, did you feel any pressure to perform?

Not really, I don’t feel any pressure and just keep working. There’s definitely a little pressure being the lead of such a big film since you have to take the franchise ahead. But this realisation hit me a little later when someone told me. So I was doing the film and having a good time. And I think that at the end of the day what matters is that the script is good, the film is nicely made and people have worked efficiently.

How was the experience of working with Director Abhishek Sharma?

I think he’s a great director who has made us do amazing work and that deserves appreciation. His comic timing is on point, which is very crucial for the film. 

With Director Abhishek Sharma

With Director Abhishek Sharma

You have been doing comedy since a while but did this role require any special preparation or training?

On television I host and do comedy, so I had to make sure that it doesn’t look the same in the film. I was afraid of this even during Mickey Virus but thankfully that didn’t happen. Abhishek sir has taught us everything in detail. He made me direct a short film; he gave me a handycam and asked me to shoot. So I would keep shooting and showing it to him. In this way he taught me little things like handling a camera, learning about light, aperture etc.


And what was the most challenging part for you?

The challenging part was that I traveled a lot for this film and was also shooting for ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’ at that time. So I would finish shooting for the film, go to the sets of Jhalak and sleep there at night, shoot in the morning and go back to the film shoot at night. But apart from that nothing was challenging. We did a lot of rehearsals which made things very easy and I thank Abhishek sir for that.

So acting or hosting – what do you enjoy more?

I love doing both. After Mickey Virus I left everything and was waiting for films but I could not just wait, because I enjoy doing both. In fact there are many people who come to watch my films because they love me from television. So I think it’s a hand – in – hand relation, which I won’t let go. There are some fans of mine who told me not to stop hosting and I won’t.

Hosting is very spontaneous and you are a spontaneous actor. Was it difficult for you to control your emotions or actions during the film?

In hosting you need to be loud all the time but a film is not that loud. I told Abhishek sir that I tend to become very loud but he asked me not to worry about it. We have to take care of these things but I think that is where automation comes in. On stage I am a different person while on the big screen I become a different person; this transformation comes naturally. 


In a still from Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive

In a still from Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive

You have been taking time in selecting films you’d like to be part of. Is there a specific reason for it?

Yes, I want to sign a good film; a film that I genuinely like or else there’s no point in doing it. I wasn’t getting a movie that had a mind blowing script. Recently there was a film which we were planning to make but it did not happen. It was a very good script and I still have it. I’ve told the director, who is a newcomer, that we’ll definitely make the film. So all I want is a good script and I’m ready to work.

But would your focus only be on the comedy genre?

No, I’m an actor and I’d like to do all kinds of roles, be it a negative role, an action one or comedy.


How would you describe your journey from the small screen to the big screen?

It has been awesome. I enjoyed doing Mickey Virus and the response was good. I also received an award for the Best Debut Actor in front of Mr.Amitabh Bachchan so I felt very good. But I never thought that ab toh bada parda hai, TV toh choti cheez hai (Now I have the big screen and TV is a small medium). Every medium is good in it’s own way and whatever I have today is because of television, so I can’t not be loyal to that.

With films that are a part of a franchise, some work while some don’t. What are your expectations from this film?

Every actor expects his film to be a super hit and I also wish the same. But the rest is not in our hands. If the audience buys tickets and likes the film, it will be a hit. If they don’t buy tickets it will be a flop but that’s okay and I will not be negative about it.

What can people expect to take away from Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive?

People will take back lots of laughter and a good time. But it’s not a stupid comedy without logic. It’s a story of the character I play and his point of view – how he comes to Bombay to become a film director, his first film, the journey and all about that.

Tell us about the other projects are you working on

I just completed a film Katha directed by Khalid Mohammad. Apart from that I’m  also doing a film called ‘Ba Ba Black Sheep’ and we’ll soon be starting work on it. And I’m doing award nights and other TV and reality shows.

 -Dhruvanka Medhekar. Transcribed by Kiran Dave