I see the film as a spectator. I believe in sitting in a theatre, and wanting to whistle at whoever has done that scene. That is what I look for (in my films). Audience should not be saying, ‘Chal aage bol na’. It should not be ke kuch bhi dialogue bol diya
Salman, what can one expect in Dabangg 2? Does Chulbul Pandey come back as bigger and better?
A heavy responsibility was put on to Arbaaz’s (Khan) and my shoulders, but I think we have carried that responsibility well. We have given our best according to our sensibilities, now let’s see hamaari sensibility aur audience sensibility tally karti hai ki nahin. But as far as bigger and better (is concerned), Chulbul Pandey does get bigger and better. One superb characteristic of Chulbul Pandey is that Chulbul is not a superhero. He’s a common man, he’s got feelings. He’s got a heart; he gets hurt and he gets angry. He is disrespectful, he is funny. He’s corrupt, he’s got a conscience — all depending who he is interacting with. A bundle of contradictions. (But) it’s been quite a journey.
Is there anything that has changed around him?
There is the family — Rajjo, Pandeyji—everyone is okay, but there is a bigger villain, bigger place, more corruption, more responsibilities and more love. As far as production values are concerned, paison se daal ke production jitna bada kar sakte the, woh kiya hai.
You have also been a part of films directed by Sohail (Khan). Did you find any difference between Arbaaz and him in their approach (to direction)?
(There’s) No difference at all. Arbaaz and Sohail are both very script driven and spontaneous. It’s difficult for a director when an actor says, let’s not shoot a film this way — let’s do it a different way... This is Arbaaz’s first film and he has done that very well. Today he is very happy with the way it’s shaped up. The destiny of Dabangg 2 decides the destiny of Arbaaz Khan.
Arbaaz had mentioned that he had the benefit of your experience as a star, so what were your key suggestions?
It’s not very often that one makes suggestions, but maybe at crucial points where it may make a big difference. Ye nahin ki just for the sake of wanting to change something, kuch bol diya. If something is good, it’s good. Sometimes you